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Bovis parent recovers

The parent of Bovis Lend Lease saw post-tax profits rise by nearly half to £123 million in the six months to December.

Development giant Lend Lease, which is listed on the Sydney Stock Exchange in Australia, said profits were up 49 per cent on the previous period when the firm was affected by provisions at its UK construction business.

The Bridgewater Place tower scheme in Leeds and a PFI hospital across the Pennines in Manchester were the chief culprits for the then £47.5 million hit.

In today’s statement, chief executive Greg Clarke said it was putting on hold its previously announced intention to sell its one third stake in the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent.

He said: “We are in the fortunate position of not being a forced seller of assets and, with current markets lacking transactional liquidity, we may decide to defer any such sales in the short term.” It had also planned to dispose of its share in the King of Prussia shopping mall at Philadelphia in Pennsylvania.

Lend Lease added that it had £950 million to spend on acquisitions and Mr Clarke said: “The group’s financial strength and track record have enabled it to continue to see excellent deal flow and to execute when the right opportunities come along.”