Bumper year for Bovis Homes as house price growth boosts profits by 20 per cent

Emma Haslett
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Construction In London
Housebuilders have done well this year (Source: Getty)

Housebuilder Bovis Homes said house price growth helped it deliver bumper profits in 2015.

The figures

Revenues in the year to the end of December rose 17 per cent to £946.5m, from £809.4m last year - while pre-tax profits rose 20 per cent to £160.1m, from £133.5m.

It said it had been bossed by a strong increase in average sales price, which grew seven per cent to £231,600, while it made 3,934 completions during the year, up eight per cent.

Private reservations grew 10 per cent to 2,986, while at the end of the year it had 19,814 consented plots across 142 sites. Not bad

Earnings per share rose 21 per cent to 95.4p, while dividend per share increased 14 per cent to 40p.

Why it's interesting

Housebuilders can't lose at the moment. Not only are house prices across the UK back into full-on rocket mode (remember the research last week which suggested a quarter of London homes will be worth £1m by 2030?), but the government is desperate to persuade builders to, er, build, by introducing a slew of schemes aimed at helping them out.

That includes the Help to Buy Isa, which was introduced in December, providing a government-funded bonus of up to £3,000 for first-time buyers snapping up affordable homes. It's aimed almost directly at the likes of Bovis, whose average selling price hits the government's definition of "affordable" - under £250,000.

Today's figures mark a swift turnaround from November, when Bovis suggested planning delays and labour shortages could hit profits.

What Bovis said

Chief executive David Ritchie said:

We have delivered record profit driven by another year of record volume. We have invested well during 2015 in new consented land and achieved a strong level of conversion from our strategic land bank.

While it has been a time of operational challenge with fast moving market conditions, we are delivering our strategic growth plan and have evolved our management and business structure at the start of 2016 to support further growth. Assuming market conditions remain stable we are confident in our ability to improve return on capital employed further in 2016.

What analysts said

Jefferies analysts said:

Following November's adjustment to expectations, the group's main priority is on execution, focusing on that which it can control and operating with the flow of the market rather than against it. We encourage investors to focus on the value within the landbank rather than the precise timing of completions which are often at the mercy of the planners, rather than the group itself.

In short

It's a good time to be a housebuilder, as Bovis delivered record profits for 2015.

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