Housebuilder Abbey has reported pre-tax profits of €21.76m for the six months to the end of October, down from €29.68m the same time last year.

It has declared a dividend of seven cent per share, which along with the eight cent approved at the company's AGM in October will make a total of 15 cent for the financial year.

Abbey said its housebuilding division completed 252 sales during the six month period, 14% lower than the same time in 2015. It completed 291 houses in the UK, 15 in Ireland and 18 in the Czech Republic.

The company noted that trading in the UK was "satisfactory", adding that forward sales are good and are consistent with its target of increased activity for the year. 

In Ireland, Abbey said it completed the first house in its Delgany project, while its project in Rathoath has had a very successful sales launch. Its project in Cornelscourt is due to launch next year.

It also said its Na Vidouli in Prague is now 90% sold and its new project in Tetinska is under way.

During the six month period, Abbey said it bought 485 plots in the UK and 94 in Ireland.

Looking ahead, Abby said its immediate outlook continues to be good and a strong second half should allow physical activity to surpass last year.

But it cautioned that uncertainty was hitting sentiment in England, and this may impact the business in 2017.

However, the gradual easier credit conditions for first time buyers in Ireland is supporting the slow recovery, it stated. 

"Overall the group is well placed and continues to grow", it added.