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Bellway predicts 20pc profit rise

Housebuilder Bellway said housing reservations are slightly down on last year but it expects pre-tax profits to rise 20 per cent.

In an interim management statement for 1 August to 30 November 2010, the housebuilder said sales were up rising from 3,486 in 2009 to 3,614 in 2010. The number secured for the next financial year is slightly down on 2009 dropping from 598 to 400.

The firm said reservations were ahead of the board’s expectations but did not see their usual level of uplift in the autumn following the government’s comprehensive spending review, which announced large cuts in public budgets.

Bellway said it expects pre-tax profits to rise 20 per cent in the six months to 31 January 2011 with slightly higher average selling prices reflecting a change in product mix, including some larger homes and housing in higher value regions.

The firm will open around 15 more sites for sales by early 2011 and acquired 1,260 plots in the four months to 30 November 2010.

It said results for the year to 31 July 2011 would depend on levels of consumer confidence, but it added that it felt this had now bottomed out.

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