Springfield H1 revenue tops £79m, but shares fall

Elgin-based Springfield Properties, which is building a number of new communities throughout Scotland, said on Tuesday its revenue rose 5.4% to £79.8 million in the six months to November 30, 2019.

Profit before tax increased 3.4% to £6.3 million for the period and interim dividend per share rose 16.7% to 1.4p.

However, Springfield shares fell about 11% to around 142p amid the wider stock market rout to give the Elgin firm a current stock market value of around £140 million.

Later on Tuesday, Springfield Properties said CEO Innes Smith sold 250,000 shares in the firm at 145p “for the purchase of a family home.”

The CEO now holds 952,428 shares, representing 0.97% of the issued share capital of the company.  

Smith said: “We are pleased to have achieved another period of growth resulting from progress across our business and, in particular, delivering strong improvement in gross margin.

“Our acquisitions are performing well and we are realising benefits group-wide.

“We continued to expand geographically with strategic land purchases in Inverness and we made good progress in advancing our developments through the planning system, including receiving consent, post period, for over 3,000 homes at Durieshill, Stirling – the largest detailed planning consent to ever be granted in Scotland.

“Looking ahead, we entered the second half with a strong order book and we are experiencing good growth across the business.

“Alongside our customers, we are benefitting from the UK having entered a period promising greater market certainty – with an increase in the reservation rate since December.

“We are also pleased to now be selling homes at three of our villages and are excited about the opportunities in the private rented sector offered by our partnership with Sigma.

“Consequently, we remain confident of achieving growth for the full year in line with management expectations and are pleased to have declared an interim dividend 17% above last year.”

Analysts at Peel Hunt wrote: “Solid interim results, with expectations for FY20E unchanged.

“Of note, gross margin enhancement is coming through as anticipated (+270bp), driven by recent acquisitions Walker Group and Dawn Homes.

“The outlook is positive ahead of the spring selling season, with a solid order book and reservations up since December.

“We continue to like the attractive growth profile of the group, the defensive qualities of the affordable division and c16 year land bank (with a GDV of £3.2bn).

“However, sector-low operating margins, a strong H2 weighting and a geared balance sheet present potential risks. Hold.”

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