Bellway posted a 57 per cent hike in profits today on the back of a strong performance in the south.
Pre-tax profit rose to £105.3m, as turnover grew 12.8 per cent to more than £1 billion, as average selling prices increased in the year to 31 July 2012.
Operating margin rose from 8.5 per cent to 11.5 per cent.
The house builder completed on 5,226 properties, up 6.2 per cent on last year, with the average selling price up 6.3 per cent to £186,648 (2011 - £175,613). Private completions rose by 13.4 per cent from 3,843 to 4,358 homes, with that ASP up 4.6 per cent to £200,287.
Chairman Howard Dawe said “consumer demand for new homes has shown continued resilience and this … has enabled Bellway to deliver its third successive year of growth in volume, average selling price and operating margin”.
He added that the growth “has been driven by the Group’s strong performance in the south of the country” … and “has been further strengthened due to the increase in private completions”.
The short and medium-term land bank was 31,136 plots at the end of July 2012 (2011 - 31,086), with 3,900 longer term plots and agreed acquisitons of 4,700 plots.
The average plot cost rose from £35,800 to £39,000 by the year end.
The seven divisions trading in the south accounted for 63 per cent of housing turnover, representing 2,851 homes - up 274 homes on the previous year. Average selling price in the southern divisions increased by 5.9 per cent to £216,031. The average selling price in the South east is the highest in the group at over £286,000.
The northern divisions, covering a geographical area from the Midlands up to central Scotland, legally completed 2,375 homes, up 30 compared on the previous year. Average prices rose 4.8 per cent to £151,376.
NewBuy was used to reserve 133 homes in the period up to 31 July 2012.
Chief Executive, John Watson, will become non-executive chairman with effect from 1 February 2013. He will be succeeded by Ted Ayres, the current operations director, who has been with Bellway for over 10 years.
Number of homes sold increased to 5,226 (2011 - 4,922)
Average selling price increased to £186,648 (2011 - £175,613)
Total group turnover increased to £1,004.2m (2011 - £886.1m)
Operating margin increased to 11.4 per cent (2011 - 8.5 per cent)
Profit before tax increased by 57 per cent to £105.3m (2011 - £67.2m)
Earnings per share increased by 58 per cent to 65.5p (2011 - 41.5p)
Total dividend increased by 60 per cent to 20.0p (2011 - 12.5p)