Housebuilder Bellway is positive about the group’s future outlook in its most recent trading update, reporting a £1.5 billion order book.
While construction sites and sales offices were unable to operate for much of the coronavirus lockdown, the firm announced a strong balance sheet and order book of over 6,000 homes, totalling £1.568 billion. Construction resumed on its 230 sites in the UK from 4th May, and sales offices and show homes reopened on 1st June. Social distancing restrictions on construction workers and additional hygiene measures in place to protect staff and visitors.
The company has had to furlough employees during the pandemic, however staff have received full pay during April and May, and not needed to access financial support for wages through the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Similarly, although eligible, the firm has not drawn down on finance from the Governments Covid Corporate Financing Facility for large businesses.
Bellway expect year-on-year sales activity to be constrained by pandemic restrictions and continuing social distancing measures which limit the numbers of tradespeople able to work on construction sites, however, the Group is confident about future liquidity.
Bellway plc Chief Executive, Jason Honeyman said:
Our priority remains the health, safety and wellbeing of our colleagues, customers and subcontractor workers. With this in mind and following updated Government guidance with regards to restarting the housing market, we have carefully and gradually recommenced onsite construction and sales activity in England and Wales, whilst introducing strict social distancing requirements. This measured approach has enabled us to continue serving our customers and has facilitated the safe return to work for many of our employees.”
Sales offices have reopened on Bellway’s developments in Cheshire, including at Heatherley Wood near Alderley Edge, and King’s Quarter in Macclesfield.