The Berkeley Group Holdings plc
Interim Management Statement
Period from 1 November 2010 to 28 February 2011
18 March 2011
The Berkeley Group Holdings plc ("Berkeley") today announces its Interim Management Statement in respect of the period from 1 November 2010 to 28 February 2011.
Overall sales reservations achieved in the period were some 25% ahead of the comparable period last year and cancellation rates are at historically low levels. The average numbers of visitors per site since the beginning of the year has been consistent with the same period last year, reflecting the current mortgage market conditions, with an increase in the number of outlets leading to the higher levels of sales overall.
Forward sales currently exceed £800 million, providing confidence to invest in work in progress on our sites. Build costs remain benign with underlying increases in fuel and commodities offset by excess capacity in the construction sector, although we continue to monitor this closely. Berkeley's strategy is aligned to investing during this period in the cycle. As indicated in December with the release of the interim results, the level of investment in land and work in progress is forecast to result in a net cash outflow in the second half of the year and this is anticipated to continue into the next financial year when Berkeley expects to become moderately geared.
In the period, Berkeley has acquired a further 1,000 plots across 8 new sites bringing the total number of plots acquired in the year to 3,500 across 21 sites. These include: a site in the City with an existing planning consent for some 750 new homes, a 337-bed hotel, 601 student bedrooms and 100,000 sqft of commercial space; a site in Kensington acquired by St Edward (our joint venture with Prudential) in close proximity to the existing 375 Kensington High Street development; and a number of sites in the Southern Home Counties and Oxfordshire for up to 20 homes each.
Berkeley has also obtained planning on two of its key London development sites in the period. A planning consent for 752 homes and 140,000 sqft of recreational and commercial space which will include a hotel, gym, spa, bars and restaurants has been received at Tideway Wharf in the heart of the Nine Elms Regeneration Area and a planning consent for One Tower Bridge, a site jointly owned with the London Borough of Southwark, has been obtained for 400 homes, along with 90,000 sqft of cultural and retail space. In addition, in February 2011, Berkeley announced an agreement to build a new station for Crossrail at its site at Royal Arsenal which will facilitate the delivery of 4,500 new homes and represents a major investment in the regeneration and infrastructure of the area.
The performance of the business over the last four months provides the Board with confidence and Berkeley anticipates reporting earnings at the high end of its expectations for the year ended 30 April 2011 and the investment in work in progress will enable a further growth in earnings in 2011/12 if overall market conditions permit.
For further information please contact:
The Berkeley Group Holdings plc Cardew Group
A W Pidgley Tim Robertson
R C Perrins Catherine Maitland
N G Simpkin T: 0207 930 0777
T: 01932 868555