Berkeley Group share price rockets as it unveils an even more ambitious dividend target

 
Emma Haslett
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Views Of The Ever Changing London Skyline
The London-focused company's developments include schemes on Nine Elms lane (Source: Getty)

Shares in housebuilder Berkeley Group jumped more than six per cent this morning, after the housebuilder announced plans to raise its dividend target to £16.34 per share by 2021.

In a statement this morning, the housebuilder's founder, Tony Pidgley - who won the Business Personality of the Year award at last month's City A.M. awards - said the hike was down to the "strength of our recent performance and the visibility over future profitability and cash generation from our land bank and forward sales".

In 2011 the company announced plans to return £1.7bn in cash, or £13 a share, to investors by 2021.

"With £4.34 per share having already been paid, the remaining £12 per share is planned to be paid in annual dividends of £2 per share over the next six years," said Pidgley.

The news came as Berkeley Group announced adjusted pre-tax profits of £242.3m for the six months to the end of October, 10.2 per cent higher than the same period last year.

Pre-tax profits slid to £293.2m, from £304.9m, which the company put down to the "impact of ground rent sales".

It added that it sold 2,091 homes at an average price of £506,000 during the period.

Shares in the company rose 6.03 per cent to 3,554p in early trading.

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