Revenues drop at homebuilder amidst COVID-19 disruption

Homebuilder Keepmoat Homes, reported revenues of £406m in its financial results for the year ended 31 October 2020, (12 months to 31 October 2019: £649.8m).

The Doncaster-based company’s adjusted earnings before interest and tax were £11.4m (2019: £61.1m), with a total of 2,460 homes sold (2019: 4,035).

The average selling price was £165,000, an increase of 2.5% over the previous year but below the national average of £289,000.

Actions taken to strengthen the firm’s balance sheet included securing new financing facilities with its banks and a pre-emptive equity injection from shareholders.

The business said it now has a record forward order book, providing excellent visibility with continued strong demand from first time buyers who represented over 70% of Group open market sales.

Keepmoat adds it has started the spring selling season strongly, with renewed customer momentum.

It notes the housing market remains robust, underpinned by low interest rates, growing consumer demand and good mortgage availability.

It has a pipeline of more than 24,000 plots – including sites where the business has been appointed as preferred developer – equivalent to six years’ supply.

Tim Beale, chief executive officer, said: “Despite the year’s challenges, our mixed-tenure partnership model has continued to set us apart, proving incredibly resilient and ensured we are bouncing back strongly and started the spring selling season well.

“We started the year with a strong first quarter, demonstrating good momentum following a record performance in the financial year ended 31 October 2019.

“With the arrival of the pandemic and safety our top priority, we closed all our sites in April 2020 and introduced rigorous Covid-safe working protocols and inspection regimes before undertaking a phased re-opening in May.

“We accelerated the digital transformation of our business, investing in our digital infrastructure to improve the customer sales journey, with online sales and appointment booking tools, as well as systems to strengthen build management.

“As the UK’s leading brownfield builder with over 70% of our current developments on brownfield land, we are firmly committed to sustainability and are proud of our strong social value credentials.

“Housing is a major Government priority, and many customers are re-appraising where they want to live with demand for flexible space for living, working, exercising, and relaxing.”

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