Housebuilder Abbey has reported pre-tax profits of €63.5m for the year to the end of April, as it advised against "further unwise intervention" in the Irish housing market.

The pre-tax profit for the 12 month period was up from €61.5m the same time last year and the company said its group operating profits were flat at €60.8m.

A dividend of nine cents has been recommended by the company's board. 

Abbey said its housebuilding operations completed 586 sales during the year - 495 in the UK, 39 in Ireland and 52 in the Czech Republic - as its turnover hit €196.5m.

The company said its projects in Delgany and Rathoath performed well and next year should see another jump in activity as projects in Cabinteely in Co Dublin and Dunshaughlin in Co Meath contribute to sales. 

It noted that the Irish Help to Buy scheme had significantly boosted confidence and is quickening the recovery in activity in the wider Dublin area.

This should help ease the housing shortage in Dublin in due course, it added.

Abbey said its UK housebuilding business saw another good year with sales - underpinned by the UK Help to Buy scheme - steady.

It noted that forward sales for its new financial year were at good levels, though recent weeks have been quieter as political events as well as normal seasonal trends have modestly dampened activity. 

Tight markets for labour and some materials are now a "significant constraint" on driving UK output, it cautioned.

Abbey also said there is increasing signs of a potential slowdown in the UK economy, which an inevitably damaging impact on its business.

It also said that a strongly positive outlook in Ireland may be impaired by "further unwise intervention" in the housing market.

"Looming ahead is the conclusion of the Brexit negotiations to which a good outcome is not assured," commented Abbey's chairman Charles H Gallagher. 

"In spite of this uncertainty, and underpinned by a strong balance sheet, the group is planning a year of growth with both the support of, and hopefully benefit to, all our stakeholders," Mr Gallagher added.

At the end of the year, the company said it owned and controlled land allocated for housing development for the supply of 3,047 plots.