Foreword by Tim Davy, Greatwell Homes Board Chairman:
This has been a year of significant change and uncertainty in the housing sector. In May 2015, the new Government very quickly made a range of policy announcements which have fundamentally changed the sector landscape. Central to this was a major shift in favour of home ownership initiatives and away from funding affordable rent. We, along with the rest of the sector, have focused on developing strategic responses to a number of significant policy shifts, most notably the Government’s plan to extend Right to Buy, rent reductions and impact of welfare reforms. We are fully aware that our external operating environment will continue to be volatile; changes in the global economy mean that we still operate in uncertain times. Consequently we continue to focus on improving our efficiency and effectiveness to support our growth ambitions. We are committed to making a positive contribution towards tackling the housing crisis by delivering as many new homes as we can. We finalised a new loan agreement with Barclays Bank during the year, which provides us with a further £38m of loan finance providing a total facility of £85m with which to invest in our target of 499 new homes by 2019.
Despite all of the challenges, Greatwell Homes has demonstrated strong financial performance. At the end of the year we made an operating surplus of £7.5m, from a turnover of £21.9m, and generated an operating margin of 34.2% which demonstrates real resilience in the face of the significant challenges in the sector. We will continue to remain absolutely committed to helping people access good quality homes and great services.
This has been a successful year where we have delivered on all of the actions within the first year of our Corporate Plan, had a robust financial performance throughout the year, and developed 46 new homes. With a fully refreshed Executive Team we are confident that, despite the future challenges, Greatwell Homes’ success and growth will continue as we deliver our plans, great services and high quality living environments for our customers. It is hard work and commitment of staff and board members that allow us to fulfil our charitable objectives and I want to thank all for their continued hard work and support over the last year.
Chairman, Greatwell Homes ¦ September 2016