St. Modwen Homes delivered a 36 per cent growth in sales volumes during the first half of 2019 (to 31 May) as demand continues for high quality homes in more affordable, regional locations. Over the past six months, 411 units were sold versus 302 units over the same period last year.
The private order book is currently up 25 per cent versus last year, which means the business expects to deliver volume growth of up to 25 per cent for the full year and is on track to sell over 1000 homes during 2019, the first time the business will break through this key milestone.
To support further future growth, St. Modwen Homes is currently sales active on 23 outlets, up from 20 at the start of the year. The business plans to open a further four outlets in the second half of 2019. This is expected to continue to grow beyond 2019 as the substantial land bank provides good visibility and control over a pipeline to continue to grow volumes by up to 25 per cent p.a. until 2021.
St. Modwen Homes has also set a medium-term operating margin target of c. 16-17 per cent and during the first half of 2019 improved to 14.8 per cent (2018: 14.6 per cent), in line with a target to improve operating margin for the full year by c. 50bps from last year’s level of 14.4 per cent.
Meanwhile, the average private sales price reduced by 5.7 per cent, driven by changes in sales mix and location, but like-for-like sales prices increased 2.5 per cent.
Working safely and delivering quality and a positive experience for customers remain paramount in growing the business and the current HBF recommend rating is tracking at over 90 per cent, which is consistent with a 5* home builder status.
Dave Smith, managing director of St. Modwen Homes, commented: “This strong performance balances sales volumes growth, margin improvement and geographic expansion whilst taking great pride in the all-important areas of safety and customer experience. We are now at a point where we hope to break through the 1000 mark for annual home sales which shows just how far we’ve come as a housebuilder but also our direction of travel for the future. In support of this, we are investing in an expanding workforce and supporting wider industry skills to ensure we can deliver high quality, sustainable growth in the years to come.”