Half year results announced
Thursday, 1 August 2013 - Pete Redfern
We released our half year results yesterday and the full announcement can be found here.
As one of the largest homebuilders, we are often looked to as a guide or a ‘barometer’ on the UK housing market generally, and certainly for us what started out as tentative signs as we came into the new year, has strengthened and today we are continuing to see improvements across most of our 24 regional businesses. These six months have seen a marked and measurable improvement in the housing market, the first since the downturn; generally things are better than they have been for some time with more and lower cost mortgages becoming available, combined with the direct impact of Government schemes such as Help to Buy all adds to increased consumer confidence. This has a knock on effect and means increased building and delivery of much needed homes across the country.
However, the industry also faces several challenges in an improving market. An often overlooked but inevitable consequence of a downturn is the loss of valuable skills and talent from the industry and today the industry faces a similar challenge. We have several training and development routes currently in place and have around 650 people enrolled in schemes, which range from a new site manager apprentice scheme to management trainees and graduate scheme, and we want this to increase. We believe that to be the best you need to invest in people and offer development and training opportunities and it will certainly remain a key focus for us for the remainder of 2013/14.