Housebuilder Abbey said it would pay a special dividend as first-half profits rose modestly amid an expected reduction in margins as costs continued to rise. The company declared a special dividend of 100.00 euro cents a share and an interim dividend of 9.00 cents. For the six months ended 31 October 2018, pre-tax profit rose €23.93m and Rental income for the period amounted to €0.53m. The housebuilding division completed 277 sales with a turnover of €99.17m resulting in an operating profit of €21.52m, the company said. In Ireland production would 'soon be in progress on five projects and we are hoping for a useful contribution to our year end figures,' the company said. A further four projects were in the approval process as efforts. M & J Engineers, the company's UK plant hire business, generated operating profits of €1.88m on a turnover of €10.98m, Abbey confirmed. 'Whilst our UK forward sales position gives confidence that a reasonable result for the year will be achieved the continuing uncertain external conditions are cause for concern. The Group will continue to progress all its activities but intends to be cautious about new investments in the months ahead, the company said. At 10:05am: (LON:ABBY) Abbey PLC share price was -25p at 1265p
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