Housebuilder Barratt’s pre-tax profits rocketed 162 per cent to £120.4m in the second half of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012.
In its results for the half year to 31 December 2013, the firm also said it was on track to raise profits for the full year from £104.5m to between £323m and £380m.
The company’s completions were up 19.3 per cent in the half year compared with the same period in 2012 to 6,195. The average selling price rose 13.9 per cent to £211,200.
It said the rise in private selling price was driven by building more properties in London, fewer flats outside the capital, and more family houses around the country.
The firm’s net debt fell to £155m from £331.7m the previous year.
It said the planning system had improved but said it took around 70 weeks from agreeing to buy a site to getting planning permission.
Group chief executive Mark Clare said the company would expand its recruitment programme to 1,100 apprentices, graduates and trainees, almost double the 600 it announced in May.