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Vistry shares slip despite guidance upgrade, traders book profits

Housebuilder Vistry shares slipped on Friday despite an upgrade to their guidance and revealing completion rates that placed them at the top of the FTSE 100 housebuilder sector.

This week has seen several strong performing shares be subject to a wave of profit taking despite reasonably good trading updates.

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On Friday, it was Vistry’s investors turn to book profits after a bumper Q4 share price performance.

“Better than expected economic growth during November in the UK gave support to the FTSE 250 index as approximately half of its constituents are seen as domestic plays. Housebuilders and real estate groups led the way with the biggest contributor to the FTSE 250 in terms of index points being Vistry,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

“Previously known as Bovis Homes, Vistry came across as more upbeat than most of its peers in a trading update and said 2023 pre-tax profit would beat previous guidance.”

Vistry said full-year performance would be ahead of prior guidance for FY2023 and will be in line with FY2022’s £418.4m profit before tax.

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Completions for the fell 5.4% to 16,124 units, this compares to Persimmon’s 33% drop in completions.

“The Group had a strong run into the year end and I’m pleased to report that adjusted profit before tax for FY23 is anticipated to be ahead of guidance.  Our FY23 performance has demonstrated the resilience of Vistry’s unique Partnerships model,” said Greg Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of Vistry.

“Our forward sales of £4.5 billion is up 12.4% on prior year and positions us well to deliver a step-up in total completions in FY24 and make progress towards our medium-term targets and the return of £1bn of capital to shareholders.”

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