HOUSEBUILDER Redrow said house sales and reservations are up in its last 19 weeks of trading, today.
The Ewloe-based firm headed by Liverpool entrepreneur and founder Steve Morgan, is holding its annual general meeting at lunch time today and Mr Morgan will tell shareholders that sales in the period were up at 0.58 per week compared with 0.55 in the same period last year.
But the group is operating from 83 outlets compared with 72 a year ago, which has resulted in reservations for the year to date rising by 17% in the regional business and 22% for the group, including its London portfolio.
Average price per reservation is 13% ahead of the same time last year at £223,000, excluding London, and 22% better at £243,000 when London is included.
Since the beginning of the financial year the group has added 1,480 plots across 14 sites to its land bank which now totals 13,100 plots, or about four-and-a-half years of supply at current sales rates.
The acquisitions have taken net debt levels from £14m in June to about £90m.
Earlier this year Bridgemere Securities, owned by Mr Morgan, was part of a group that made tentative inquiries to take Redrow private but which ultimately failed to lodge a firm bid for the group.
Mr Morgan will tell shareholders today: “This followed discussions with the board about the preliminary expressions of interest in relation to a possible offer. There are no discussions ongoing.
“I, along with the rest of the management team and the board, am clearly focused on driving Redrow forward under our existing successful strategy to create value for all investors.”
Liverpool stockbroker Panmure Gordon sticks with its ‘hold’ recommendation on Redrow shares. Analysts Mark Hughes and Rachael Applegate said: “We believe the opportunity for Redrow over the coming years is significant and the group’s move into London should start paying dividends from 2014.
“That said, we believe that the (share) valuation is up with events for now and we therefore maintain our hold recommendation.”