Bellway completions down 31% but orders rise to £1.7bn

Shares of Newcastle-based house building giant Bellway fell about 3% on Tuesday after it published a trading update for the year ended July 31, 2020.

Bellway said housing completions fell 31% to 7,522 “as a result of temporary groupwide site closures during the ‘lockdown’ period.”

However Bellway said it has a strong forward order book comprising 6,588 homes (2019 – 4,878 homes) with a value of £1.7 billion (2019 – £1.2 billion).

Bellway CEO Jason Honeyman said: “Our attention now turns to the trading year ahead. 

“Whilst the economic outlook is uncertain, sales demand is encouraging, and the group has built a strong forward sales position.”

Analysts at Peel Hunt wrote: “Bellway’s top line is likely to come in ahead of our estimate, but underutilisation of sites will result in significant margin pressure and lower profitability.

“Build rates have increased to 80% of pre-Covid levels, at the lower end of the peer group, and reserved/exchange homes remain the focus.

“The balance sheet remains in good shape, with a £1m net cash position, land creditors of £345m and bank facilities of £545m.”

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.