Taylor Wimpey "pleased" as landbank and cash reserves help weather storm

Shares in housebuilder Taylor Wimpey (LSE: TW) were broadly unchanged on Thursday after the group said it expects to deliver full-year operating profits at the top end of guidance, despite a significant drop in completions.

The builder completed 10,848 homes last year, 26% fewer than the 14,154 the previous year. However, average selling prices rose 5.1% to £370,000.

Taylor Wimpey said being “highly selective” with land purchases allowed it to reduce approvals to around 3,000 plots from 7,000 the year before. This contributed to the group finishing last year with £1.77bn in the order book and £678m in cash reserves.

While profits are expected to halve year-on-year to £440-470m, CEO Jennie Daly insisted Taylor Wimpey’s “robust balance sheet” and “excellent” landbank means it is well-placed to weather challenging conditions.

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Daly warned that “the short term the market remains uncertain”, but was confident in the medium and long-term market fundamentals.

Taylor Wimpey shares are up 36% over the last 12 months. The group will announce full results on 28 February.