- Home builder Taylor Wimpey reported a 68% slump in annual profit after construction markets were hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns.

The company, however, resumed dividend payments, citing a recent bounce bank in demand and its cash position.

Pre-tax profit for the year through December dropped to £217.0 million, down from £673.9 million year-on-year, as revenue sank 36% to £2.79 billion.

Taylor Wimpey declared a final dividend of 4.14p per share, resuming a dividend policy of paying out around 7.5% of net assets.

Net cash was £719.4 million, up from £545.7 million year-on-year.

On its outlook, the company said the 2021 selling season had started well, following on from a stronger-than-expected recovery of the housing market in the second half of 2020.

Underlying demand, it added, was underpinned by low interest rates and stable mortgage lending.

Taylor Wimpey's net private sales rate for the year to date was 0.89, down from 0.94 year-on-year.

As at 21 February, its total order book excluding joint ventures was £2.79 billion, up from £2.58 billion.

'Operating performance has bounced back strongly in the second half of 2020, with build capacity returning to near normal levels and strong sales,' chief executive Pete Redfern said.

'The UK housing market has been resilient and continues to reinforce our confidence in our outlook.'

'We are a cash generative business with a strong balance sheet, and we are pleased to announce today that we will reinstate our ordinary dividend in line with our aim of providing a reliable income stream to our shareholders.'

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