Cairn Homes has reported revenue of €665m, an improvement of 7.7% or €47.6m year-on-year, after closing sales for more than 200 additional homes in 2023.
The house builder expects to deliver a gross margin of 22.1%, up from 21.7% in 2022, as closed sales of new homes rose from 1,526 to 1,741 last year.
During the full year, the company agreed sales for over 2,800 new homes, and its forward order book was worth over €900m net of VAT and 2,350 homes at year’s end compared to €374m in 2022.
Looking ahead, Cairn has a forward pipeline of 2,350 homes, with 500 new homes due to close in the first three months of 2023 and 1,600 homes set to close during the year.
“Our company is experiencing sustained positive momentum. We are building record numbers of new homes and we have delivered our strongest ever operational and financial performance in 2023,” said Michael Stanley, CEO of Cairn.
“Continued reinvestment in our building platform and a €900m sales pipeline as we start the new year leaves us poised to grow our business by a further 30% in 2024.”
“We are passionate about the homes we build and after closing 1,741 homes last year, over 20,000 people now live in the 7,500 Cairn homes we have built to date. We look forward to doubling that number over the next few years.”
Build cost inflation moderated last year in line with expectations to less than €10,000 per new home built or c. 4% of hard builds, down from €20,000 and 8% the previous year.
Cain commenced construction at four new sites and six new phases across six existing developments last year, and the company was active on 20 sites in 2023.
Construction is under way at Seven Mills in Clonburris (318 new homes), Parkside, Dublin 13 (368), and Piper’s Square, Dublin 11 (590), all of which have been forward funded with a number of different State-supported counterparts.
Cain completed €42.6m of its €75m share buyback programme and acquired 38.7m shares last year, with the remaining €32.4m expected to be completed during the early months of 2024.
The company paid a dividend of 6.2 cent per ordinary share during 2023, adding that significant cash generation this year and beyond would continue to fund growing shareholder returns.
In 2024, Cairn expects to deliver c. 2,200 new homes, an operating profit of c. €145m, and a 15% return on equity.
Stanley noted that 10% of housing transactions are for newly-built homes purchased by first-time buyers and that a significant increase in the supply of new homes is required.
“In the absence of enough of these affordable homes for first-time buyers to purchase, the government is now also priortising the completion of well-located affordable rental apartment developments,” he continued.
“These scaled new developments, which, in the main, will be State-owned assets, could offer truly affordable, long-term or transitional housing solutions for tens of thousands of young people working in our economy.”
(Pic: Getty Images)