Housebuilder Abbey has reported lower profits for the year to the end of April as the outlook for the industry continues to be uncertain.  

Abbey reported a pre-tax profit of €53m for the 12 month period, down from €58.6m the previous year. Turnover for the year amounted to €209.1m.

It said that after a tax charge of €9.8m, the group made a profit of €43.2m, reflecting earnings per share of 201.48 cents. 

Its board has recommended a dividend of 11 cents per share for approval at the company's AGM.

Abbey's housebuilding operations completed 579 sales in the 12 month period - 511 in the UK, 36 in Ireland and 32 in Czechia.

It said that trading in the UK continued at good levels during the year, with sales holding up well on the back of the 'Help to Buy' programme.

While margins are falling back from the elevated levels of recent years, Abbey said its forward order book is good.  

But in recent months Abbey said it had experienced "a disappointing" succession of planning decisions that have delayed the start of a number of new projects and as a result UK turnover is expected to fall this year. 

"Lower turnover together with lower margins will reduce the division's contribution to group results," the company added.

On its Irish operations, Abbey said that gradual progress is being made towards its goal of boosting activity. 

Sales in its sites in Dunshaughlin and Cabinteely have gone well over the last six months and its next project in Navan will launch in September.  

It said that these projects will ensure a significant jump in output this year.

But it cautioned that stable prices together with rising costs are a challenging backdrop for the business.

Abbey said that it is trading profitably in the current year, but that a lower UK housing contribution this year will likely materially impact overall Group profit.

It said the outlook continues to be uncertain with house prices broadly stable but with costs continuing to rise.

Abbey also noted that the regulatory environment is constantly evolving with initially at least a negative impact on productivity.  

It also said that credit conditions for customers remain tight and the 'Help to Buy' schemes in both the UK and Ireland are supporting many of its buyers.  

"The abrupt withdrawal of 'Help to Buy' would have a material impact on our business," it stated.  

However, Abbey said that overall the group is in a "healthy" financial position and will continue to seek out opportunities to build new homes in all its markets.

Abbey said it owned and controlled land allocated for housing development for the supply of 2,924 plots at the end of its financial year.