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Bovis trading update posts 29% jump in legal completions for 2014

Bovis Homes has posted a 29 per cent jump in legal completions for the year, as it prepares to announce a “significant increase” in profits ahead of its annual accounts for the year ended 31 December 2014.

In a trading update this morning, the housebuilder said it completed 3,635 homes for the year, up from 2,813 in 2013.

It also said there had been strong improvement in operating profit margin to around 17 per cent, compared with 14.9 per cent the year before.

This was partly driven by an increase in completions on sites acquired since the housing market downturn, the company said.

Return on capital employed increased to 16 per cent for the year, up from 10.4 per cent in 2013.

Average sales price increased by 11 per cent to £216,600, up from £195,100 the year before.

The group added 7,300 plots to its consented landbank across 42 sites, increasing its total landbank to around 18,000 consented plots for 2014.

This gives the housebuilder around five years of consented land supply.

Bovis will pay a final dividend for the year of 23 pence per share to its shareholders, in addition to an interim dividend of 12 pence per share, paid in November 2014.

Private reservations per site per week were down slightly to 0.54, from 0.59 the year before.

The housebuilder said this reflected a slowing in the market in H2 2014, compared with a stronger H2 the year before, following the introduction of the government’s Help to Buy scheme.

Bovis chief executive David Ritchie said: “We have continued to execute our strategic plan successfully, despite the housing market moderating in the second half of 2014.

“The size of the business is set to grow further after a record year of land investment in 2014.

“Subject to market conditions being similar to 2014, we expect to deliver further growth in revenue and profit, giving rise to further improvement in returns in 2015.”

Bovis will publish its final results for the year ended 31 December 2014 on 23 February.

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