"The group delivered a half year performance in line with our expectations despite the challenging macro-economic conditions and higher interest rate environment"
In a trading update for the period from January 1 to June 30 2023, the firm revealed that completions in its housebuilding division totalled 2,847 against 3,219 seen during the equivalent period in 2022, with the business facing “more challenging market conditions”.
As higher mortgage rates and broader macro-economic challenges continued to impact, housebuilding entered into a number of bulk transactions with housing associations and local authorities during the half year. Recently, Vistry has been “carefully” considering site starts and new phase starts for housebuilding.
The group’s average weekly sales rate for the period was 0.86 against 2022’s 0.84. Excluding Housebuilding’s bulk sales the sales rate was 0.67.
Vistry said that during the past four weeks, its sales rate for open-market private homes had slowed in response to the recent increase in interest rates and mortgage costs. Both Housebuilding and the company’s Partnerships business are mitigating the drop through bulk transactions.
Housebuilding’s adjusted revenue during the reported period was around £810m compared to 2022’s £902m. Vistry said the division had a “good” forward sales position with 76% of its forecast units for FY 2023 secured and a forward order book of £1.2bn.
The firm said it still expected to deliver full-year adjusted pre-tax profit “in excess of” £450bn, thanks to a strong forward order book, the group’s integration progress with Countryside, and targeted cost savings.
Greg Fitzgerald, Vistry’s CEO, said: "The group delivered a half-year performance in line with our expectations despite the challenging macro-economic conditions and higher interest rate environment.
“Partnerships is demonstrating its resilience and remains on track to deliver revenue growth in the full year. Housebuilding is maintaining a controlled and disciplined approach, taking the opportunity to deliver bulk sales to support overall sales rates and open market pricing.
“I would like to thank our people, our subcontractors, suppliers and partners for their tremendous efforts and ongoing commitment to the success of Vistry Group."