Housebuilder Abbey has reported pre-tax profits of €58.6m for the year to the end of April, down about 8% from the profits of €63.5m the previous year.

After a tax charge of €9.7m, Abbey said it made a profit of €48.9m which reflected earnings per share of 228.22 cents. 

The company's board has recommended a dividend of 10 cents per share.
 
The company said its housebuilding operations completed 606 sales during the year - 75 in Ireland, 524 in the UK and seven in the Czech Republic.

Abbey said that its projects in Ratoath and Cabinteely made good contributions to its results.

Further growth is being actively pursued with new projects in Navan being brought into production, while plans are well advanced for the resumption of its developments in Laois when conditions allow. 

Abbey said the Government's 'Help to Buy' is a key factor supporting the steadily rising level of activity.  

During the year sites in Dublin, Meath and Waterford were added to the company's landbank.

Abbey also noted that trading in the UK has been reasonably consistent during the year with sales "steady" throughout.  

It said that its UK forward sales are healthy and recent activity has been normal for this time of year.  

Production is a high priority and tight markets for labour and materials are a significant constraint, it added.

At the end of the year, the group said it owned and controlled land allocated for housing development for the supply of 3,164 plots. 

Looking ahead, Abbey chairman Charles H Gallagher said the group is currently on course for another satisfactory year.  

But he said the level of uncertainty with which Abbey has to cope, continues to rise.

"By this time next year the UK will likely be outside of the EU and facing a higher risk premium on all UK investments. A disruptive Brexit will also impact unfavourably on the remaining 27," he added. 

Mr Gallagher said the group, backed by its strong balance sheet, will continue to invest to meet the need for new homes in all its markets.