Avant Homes announces record trading and revenues of £368m

Avant Homes Street scene3

Excellent trading leads to record revenues and profits with strong land investment in prime Northern UK locations, providing the platform to deliver next strategic milestone of a £500m turnover and 2,000 unit business.

The Group's revenues over the twelve-month period are up 44% to £368m, with 1,636 total completions, up 35% compared with the prior year when it was 1,210.

Outstanding sales performance, with sales per site per week of 0.81 over the twelve-month period (FY16: 0.65); a record for the Group.

Significant growth in scale across the year, with outlets at the end of the year up 62.5% at 52, compared to 32 outlets in April 2016.

Continued progress building on period of development

Following investment from Alchemy Special Opportunities, Avenue Capital and Angelo Gordon in December 2014, the twelve-month period to the 30th April 2017 marked the second financial year under new ownership and its first year under the unified Avant brand, which was created in October 2015 as part of a strategy to transform the business.

Following a strong first half performance, Avant has maintained its growth momentum over the course of the second half of the year, delivering a record year of volumes, revenues and profits. This performance demonstrates the strength of the Group’s platform for growth as it continues to increase and develop its scale, illustrated most markedly by its growth in outlets year on year and the strength of its sales rate.

Sales performance

Total completions for the year ended 30th April 2017 were up significantly (35%) on the prior year at 1,636 (FY16: 1,210), with a strong increase in private completions of 31% to 1,406 (FY16: 1,074) across the period, the Group has seen healthy pricing in each of its four operating regions. 

Following a record autumn selling season in the first half of the financial year, the spring selling season adopted a similar pattern, with visitor levels and reservation rates outperforming the same period in FY16. Total private reservations in the year were up 57% which translates to 0.81 sales per site per week (FY16: 0.65) across an average of 35 selling sites, compared to 28 in FY16.  

Land performance

Avant’s owned and contracted land supply now stands at over 6,700 plots with a potential gross development value of £1.6bn.  This represents an increase of 1,100 plots across the year, which has been delivered through adopting a selective approach to land acquisition, focusing on premium locations in the north of England and central belt of Scotland. 

Strategic land is a key element of Avant’s land programme and during the year Avant has focused heavily on converting sites from option to active sales outlet. The Group have successfully pulled through [900] plots (35%) from our strategic land supply in the year. Avant will continue to invest in order to replenish its strategic land pipeline, which currently includes options held over 3,900 plots.

Selected key sites acquired during the second half of the 2016 financial year include 172 plots in Newark, Nottinghamshire; 62 plots in Stannington, Sheffield; 203 plots in Birtley, County Durham and 100 plots in Cairneyhill, Scotland.

Outlook

The Group enters the new financial year with good visibility thanks to a strong level of forward private reservations and, with a continuation of market conditions, the Board is confident of building upon the positive performance in the year to 30th April 2017 over the course of the new financial year.  

Looking forward, Avant’s intention to become a £500m turnover, 2,000 unit business remains on track as a milestone on the journey of significant growth. 

Colin Lewis, Chief Executive of Avant Homes, said:

"The strength of Avant’s performance over the last twelve months underlines the success of the strategy we launched to transform the business following our change of ownership in December 2014. The record results we have achieved across all metrics have been driven by the strong appeal of our aspirational family homes, designed to give our customers what they want, and the resilience of the markets in which we operate. 

“The continued investment in our land supply in prime locations across the Midlands, Yorkshire, the North East and the central belt of Scotland has further strengthened our platform to continue to drive significant growth. We are therefore confident of continuing to accelerate our growth and to deliver our milestone of 2,000 homes and £500m of revenues on our journey of growth. 

“From a market perspective, whatever the outcome of the forthcoming General Election, the Government should look to seize the opportunity of a new electoral mandate to set out its fresh thinking on how best to support the UK housing market. This includes a clear policy agenda to support the continued growth of the housing market outside of the South East, and indicating what support, if any, it plans to give home buyers after the Help to Buy scheme closes in 2021.”