Taylor Wimpey shrugs off Brexit worries as profits rise

Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey said 2019 has got off to a “very positive” start despite Brexit uncertainty, as it notched up a rise in full-year profits.

The group posted a 5.5% increase in underlying pre-tax profits to £856.8 million for 2018.

Taylor said it had continued to see strong home-buyer demand in spite of increasing signs that Brexit worries are weighing on Britain’s property market.

Its order book stands at 9,622, according to the group.

The builder is expecting “stable” house sales volumes in 2019 due to the current market conditions.

It added that it will continue to see pressure from rising build costs, which it expects to increase by similar levels to 2018 – at around 3% to 4%.

Chief executive Pete Redfern said: “2018 was another strong year for Taylor Wimpey with good progress against our strategic priorities.

“Despite ongoing macroeconomic and political uncertainty, we have made a very positive start to 2019 and are encouraged to see continued strong demand for our homes.”

Results showed that, on a statutory basis, Taylor’s pre-tax profits lifted 18.9% to £810.7 million.

Shares were up 2%.

As with other housebuilders, the firm has been boosted by ongoing low interest rates as well as the extension of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme to allow first-time buyers to purchase a new build with just a 5% deposit.