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Bromford has published a trading update to investors for the 2020 to 2021 year showing that we built 902 new homes for 2,500 customers despite closing construction sites for two months during the first national lockdown. 

In a year dominated by the global pandemic, Bromford prioritised the safety and wellbeing of customers and colleagues and strengthened its customer advocacy score during the year as well as maintaining arrears at under 2%. Rent growth and operational synergies led to our social housing operating margin rising to 35% and we also maintained our sector leading A2 and A+ credit ratings with Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s (S&P). Whilst sales are naturally down year on year due to the initial lockdown, we are pleased to have resumed pre-covid sales levels and end the year with only 45 unsold homes. 
Financial position 
The update highlights our strong liquidity position, with half a billion in cash and available banking facilities at year end and a further £200m already agreed at record low interest rates to be drawn in 2021 and 2022. We have now established our second Sustainability Linked Loan (SLL) in our first deal with a Japanese lender, which is the first SLL in the sector to link to governance and targets to reduce our gender pay gap. Or new funding will help us invest more in existing homes and build a further 11,000 new homes by 2029 under our ambitious housebuilding programme. 
Our newly formed sustainability group will continue to lead our work in this important area, and will publish our inaugural Sustainability Finance Framework over the coming weeks following formal accreditation by an external third party. 
Chief executive Robert Nettleton said: “The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in an unprecedented year of challenge and change for customers, colleagues and stakeholders. Our primary focus throughout the past year was on the safety and wellbeing of colleagues and customers. 
Given the challenges, including the ability to deliver our full investment programme, we are very pleased to report that our customer advocacy improved by over 3% to 85.1% and arrears reduced to under 2%. We have achieved this whilst improving our social housing margin by 3% to 35% as a result of rent growth and operational synergies following our mergers. 

We pro-actively resumed development activity after the first lockdown and are pleased to have completed over 900 new homes in the year, the vast majority of which are at social and affordable tenures. Whilst new home sales activity was down by 22% on the previous year as a result of the restrictions during the first three months of the financial year, we ended the year with only 45 completed homes unsold (2020 FY: 103 homes). 
Our sustainability agenda continues to be a high strategic priority. During the year we established our baseline carbon emissions position and finalised our inaugural accredited Sustainability Finance Framework which will drive a number of initiatives including meeting SAP C ratings across all our homes by 2030. 
As the UK’s successful vaccine rollout continues and further restrictions lift, we look forward to the future in which we will deliver our full investment programme, complete our catch-up repairs and retain our unwavering focus on enabling our customers to thrive.” 
Imran Mubeen, director of treasury, added: “We end the year with over twice the level of required liquidity, with significant headroom continuing in our gearing and interest cover covenants for future borrowing, and with the affirmation of our dual credit rating platform across Moody’s and S&P (A2/ A+).” 
Read the full report 
For the full update, please check out our investors page. 

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