HOUSE builder Bellway has burst through the billion-pound barrier for the first time.
Sales for the year ending July 31 were up 14.5 per cent to £1.09 billion from £954 million in 2003.
Bellway said it would continue to work in the lower to middle-end price range of the housing market across a wide geographical spread and is looking to increase its work for housing associations. Pre-tax profits also rose 21.4 per cent to £205.5 million, up from £169.3 million a year ago.
Operating margins improved to 19.5 per cent from 18.1 per cent in 2003.
Bellway sold 6,610 homes during the year, up 5 per cent on last year's 6,278 sales.
The average selling price rose just less than 8 per cent to £161,400 from £149,700 in 2003.