Vistry mulls dividend this year as house sales recover

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Vistry Group PLC (LON:VTY), the FTSE 250 housebuilder, has said it will consider a dividend this year after strong sales and good cash generation since the end of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Profits in the year to end December 2020 will be at the top end of its £130mln-£140mln forecast, the group repeated again in a trading update, with net debt at the year-end to be no more than £40mln.

“Strong trading and low cancellations [and] good cash management at an individual business level” have driven the performance, it added.

“Given the strong cash performance and accelerated deleverage, the board will consider reinstating a modest final dividend in respect of the 2020 financial year, “ Vistry said in the statement.

The housebuilder added that all land for building next year has been acquired and it predicted a profit before tax of £310mln for 2021 and to be in a net cash position by the year-end.

Dividends in 2021 will reflect a policy of 2.5 times earnings cover, the group added.

Vistry noted that it has also repaid all furlough monies received earlier in the year

A trading update for the 12 months ended December 31, 2020 will be issued on January 12, 2021, it said.

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