Group reports recovery in consumer sentiment towards the property market
House builder Taylor Wimpey is projecting a 40 per cent rise in operating profits for the 2012 year, well ahead of analysts' expectations.
The group, which came close to collapse in 2009 as a result of massive debts, said consumer sentiment towards the property market is recovering, with the first two weeks of 2013 being the most positive period in recent times.
Net debt was cut to £60 million as of December 31, 2012, well below previously published guidance of around £135 million.
Despite the UK property market remaining broadly flat in 2012, the group said the selling price on completed properties rose on average six per cent to £197,000.
The group attributed its improved financial performance on lenders reducing mortgage rates as a result of the Bank of England's Funding for Lending scheme.
Taylor Wimpey also purchased 1,203 homes under the UK Government's FirstBuy scheme and a further 546 homes linked to initiatives set up to help buyers with smaller deposits.
The group said it starts the 2013 year with a “substantial order book”, up 14 per cent in value to £948 million as of December 31, 2012, representing 5,966 homes.
Chief executive Pete Redfern said: "2012 was another year of significant progress for Taylor Wimpey with an increase of over 40 per cent in group operating profit.
“We are delivering on the strategy that we set out in 2011, including a return to UK double-digit operating margin ahead of schedule.
“As we look forward to 2013, we are confident that we will continue to deliver against our key objectives and target further improvement.”