Thursday 19 June 2014

Berkeley Group shows the power of capitalism

Berkeley Group has come out with its annual results today and these are a very strong set indeed. Profits are up by 40%, more completions than pre-crisis and a huge pipeline of current builds all set to make the company a fortune in the next couple of years.

But canny CEO, Tony Pidgely, knows a alot about market timing. The Group turned on the taps of construction at exactly the right moment 18 months ago when others were fearing to tread. In addition the focus is on the Southeast and London in particular which gives the Group a key position in exploiting the hotspot of the UK market.

Also though Pidgley is well-known in the  City for his 'excessive' pay packets. Every few years he and his executive team promise to double the size of the company and get a 10-20% share stake as a reward. This has been going on since 2003. Pidgely has made over £100 million as a result.

This causes much consternation elsewhere, but the reality is that apart from 2008/9 the team have delivered on their promise every time. The current one is due to last 8 years and demands over £1.7billion payout to shareholders during that time - so a £200 million a year odd dividend. This year will see something nearer £200 million so they are well on track to deliver as always. The management will earn £280 million if they succeed. It's a big pot, but then the shareholders will have earned 3x as much as the shares are up 450% over the last decade. Most shareholders will long have been in the company for free if they account for their dividend payments.

Everyone on the Left is keen today to discuss rewards for failure and boardroom greed. Berkeley Group is a good answer to them. Pidgely was born with nothing and is entirely self-made, no silver spoon for him. He earns a fortune, but his investors can earn as much, if no more. All the while increasing the UK's housing stock in the area of most need. It's a great story for Capitalists.

1 comment:

Raedwald said...

Agree - a canny bugger who gets it right. But he doesn't have to depend on the banks to finance his hunches ...