The Berkeley Group Holdings plc
Period from 1 November 2021 to 28 February 2022
11 March 2022
The Berkeley Group Holdings plc ("Berkeley" or the "Company") today announces its Trading Update that covers the period from 1 November 2021 to 28 February 2022.
"Berkeley has continued to trade robustly since its half year, with the value of underlying sales reservations remaining slightly ahead of pre-pandemic levels. Cancellations are at normal rates and sales pricing is sufficiently ahead of business plan to absorb construction cost increases.
Berkeley therefore remains on track to meet its earnings guidance for the year ending 30 April 2022, and the subsequent three years, provided in December with its half year results. Forward sales, representing cash due under exchanged private sales, are expected to be above £1.70 billion at year end (31 October 2021: £1.70 billion), whilst net cash is forecast to be around £900 million (31 October 2021: £846 million), subject to the timing of certain land payments.
Berkeley continues to focus on the investment programme in place to bring its portfolio of long-term brownfield sites into production, underpinning future delivery and earnings, and sustaining some 28,000 UK jobs directly and indirectly throughout its supply chain.
The operating environment remains volatile with a number of challenges facing all businesses. For Berkeley, this is most immediately evident through continuing inflationary pressure and supply chain constraints, planning complexity and delays, the uncertainty associated with the combined efforts of the industry and Government to address concerns around the safety of people living in tall buildings and the developing implications of the tragic situation in Ukraine.
Since its half year, Berkeley has taken the opportunity to refinance its bank facilities, which stood at £750 million and were due to expire in November 2023. The new facilities are for £800 million and expire in February 2027 with two one-year extension options. This provides total gross debt facilities of £1.2 billion, including the 10-year Green Bonds issued in August 2021.
In respect of shareholder returns, the next scheduled shareholder return is the £141 million for the six months ended 30 September 2022, of which £35 million has already been spent on share buy-backs.
Berkeley continues to anticipate that the second half of the surplus capital return (a further £226 million), which is due by 30 April 2023, will be allocated to expenditure on incremental land interests, including bringing its near-term pipeline sites into the land holdings, to further underpin the business plan."
For further information please contact:
The Berkeley Group Holdings plc Novella Communications
R J Stearn Tim Robertson
T: 01932 868 555 T: 020 3151 7008