Earnings fall but dividend paid out

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Construction group Morgan Sindall is maintaining its dividend for the year at 27p, despite earnings per share falling by a third.

Operating profit before amortisation and exceptional items fell from £48.1 million in 2012 to £33.6 million says the group, which includes affordable housing, regeneration and maintenance specialist Lovell.

Lovell is building a number of major housing schemes in Doncaster, including a £12.6 million housing regeneration scheme for Doncaster Council and £4.5 million development in the heart of Doncaster for sister urban regeneration company Muse Developments.

Lovell managing director Stewart Davenport said last year had not been without its challenges but confidence had returned to the housing market as a result of the Government’s Help to Buy initiative.

The initiative resulted in a 36 per cent increase in Lovell’s sales of new homes during the year. Releasing cash from historic sites enabled it to invest in new mixed tenure sales sites for 2014 and onwards.

“New build contracting and repairs and maintenance remained competitive throughout the year but despite this we maintained a healthy and well-balanced forward order book,”added Mr Davenport.