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Taylor Wimpey – 2023 revenue and profits fall

Taylor Wimpey’s had a tough year, but remains on solid foundations heading into 2024. Equity Analyst Aarin Chiekrie shares the latest.
Taylor Wimpey - profits soar, share buyback

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Taylor Wimpey’s full-year revenue fell 20.5% to £3.5bn. This comes as average weekly private sales rates fell from 0.68 to 0.62 due to the “challenging market”.

Operating profits of £470.2mn were at the top end of group guidance, but this still represents a near halving from the prior year’s levels.

The group completed a total of 10,848 homes in 2023, down from 14,154. The order book slipped lower from £1.9bn to £1.8bn at year-end.

Free cash flow worsened from £0.5bn to £0.1bn. Net cash came in 21.5% lower at £0.7bn.

In early 2024, reduced mortgage rates are “positively impacting affordability” and consumer confidence, which is helping boost sales rates. UK home completions, excluding joint ventures, are expected to be in the 9,500 to 10,000 range.

A final dividend of 4.79p per share has been announced. This takes the full-year total to 9.58p, up 1.9%.

The shares fell 2.5% in early trading.

Our view

Taylor Wimpey's put in a relatively resilient showing given the tough trading conditions of 2023. Revenue and profits were both down significantly from the prior year’s level. But this rebase lower should make for easier comparisons moving forward, potentially setting the scene for a better performance in 2024, with Taylor’s trading early in the new year showing positive signs.

A combination of real house price declines and lower mortgage rates have eased some of the affordability pressures on buyers. That’s helped improve consumer confidence and push sales rates higher at the start of the new year.

With softer UK inflation figures coming through, markets expect rates to fall over 2024. Lower rates are a tailwind for buyers, increasing their purchasing power. A potential homebuyer with a £1500 monthly mortgage budget has over 10% more borrowing capability at 4.0% than 5.0%.

Keep in mind that Brits are ideologically committed to home ownership and the country has been in a prolonged period of housing undersupply, a trend that's unlikely to change anytime soon.

The landbank is a particular strength for Taylor Wimpey, who have a robust pipeline of potential projects. The focus now is bringing plots online, with new land spending remaining at subdued levels. That's wise, given the cost of land is yet to reflect the less favourable outlook.

But there are still challenges to navigate.

Despite 2023's operating profit coming in at the top end of guidance, that still marks a rough halving from the prior year’s level. The sector's also facing ongoing labour and supply chain challenges, and planning permission disruptions are continuing to be a thorn in the group's side.

The balance sheet's in very good shape, arguably one of the strongest in the sector. And a net cash position of £678mn at year-end should help provide a cushion for any potential bumps in the road.

The current dividend policy is linked to asset value, rather than earnings. That means investors are more likely to receive a base level of dividend even in a downturn. But remember, dividend policies can change on a dime. No dividends are guaranteed.

There’s still plenty of uncertainty ahead in 2024, with margins likely to remain under pressure throughout the year. But there are tentative signs of improved buyer activity, and with a longer-term lens, the valuation remains attractive. Given its robust financial position, Taylor Wimpey is one of our preferred names in the sector.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk

Most housebuilders are relatively low risk in terms of ESG, particularly for those in Europe. However, there are some environmental risks to consider, from direct emissions to the impact of their buildings on the local ecology. The quality and safety of their buildings is also a key risk.

According to Sustainalytics, Taylor Wimpey’s management of ESG risk is strong. The group has a strong greenhouse gas reduction programme in place and reports on scope 1, 2 & 3 emissions. There are clear deadlines in place and a renewable energy programme has also been implemented. While the group uses recycled materials, there’s no disclosure of the percentage used.

Taylor Wimpey key facts

All ratios are sourced from Refinitiv, based on previous day’s closing values. Please remember yields are variable and not a reliable indicator of future income. Keep in mind key figures shouldn’t be looked at on their own – it’s important to understand the big picture.

This article is original Hargreaves Lansdown content, published by Hargreaves Lansdown. It was correct as at the date of publication, and our views may have changed since then. Unless otherwise stated estimates, including prospective yields, are a consensus of analyst forecasts provided by Refinitiv. These estimates are not a reliable indicator of future performance. Yields are variable and not guaranteed. Investments rise and fall in value so investors could make a loss.

This article is not advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any investment. No view is given on the present or future value or price of any investment, and investors should form their own view on any proposed investment. This article has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is considered a marketing communication. Non-independent research is not subject to FCA rules prohibiting dealing ahead of research, however HL has put controls in place (including dealing restrictions, physical and information barriers) to manage potential conflicts of interest presented by such dealing. Please see our full non-independent research disclosure for more information.

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Written by
Aarin Chiekrie
Aarin Chiekrie
Equity Analyst

Aarin is a member of the Equity Research team. Alongside our other analysts, he provides regular research and analysis on individual companies and wider sectors. Having a keen interest in global economics, he knows how macro-events can impact individual companies.

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Article history
Published: 28th February 2024