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03Feb94 UK: BEAZER IN SALES OF THE CENTURY - HOUSEBUILDING TO INCREASE.

Beazer Homes is planning a major rise in volume sales by the end of the century.The Bath-based Hanson-owned house builder, which is being floated on the stock exchange this spring, plans to increase its last year figure of 4,805 units by about half.Managing director Dennis Webb said this week: 'We see ourselves by the mid-to late-1990s being in the 7,000-plus range.'The company, which is Britain's fourth largest housebuilder and is expected to be valued at around £400 million on the stock exchange, plans to boost volumes nationally. But it will 'reinforce' its operation in certain regions, including the South-East and south Wales.With virtually every major house builder planning to lift volumes, concern has emerged that the market will be oversupplied. But Mr Webb said the market was growing from a low point and he saw 'room for expansion' by Beazer with some increase in its market share which is currently 3.4 per cent.Mr Webb said current trading at the company was strong and that reservations in the opening weeks of this year were ahead by more than 30 per cent compared with the same period last year.He believed the market had benefited from the Budget's tax, stamp duty and MIRAS measures, as well as good affordability and falling unemployment. 'The feel-good factor is there now,' he said.At the Hanson agm last week, Beazer Homes unveiled details of its recent trading record showing the firm had raised operating profits to £37.5 million in the year to September on sales of £276 million.But in the year ending June 30 the firm had reported an operating loss of £62 million on sales of £251.2 million after making an exceptional write down of £99.3 million against its 16,000 plot land bank. CONSTRUCTION NEWS