Cost cutting helps boost Bovis profits

 
Kasmira Jefford
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BOVIS HOMES more than doubled its profits in the first half of the year after cutting building costs and embarking on an aggressive land buying spree, despite gloomy market conditions.

The FTSE 250 company said pre-tax profits jump to £8.1m in the six months to 30 June from £3.5m in the same period last year, with revenues up by 15.6 per cent to £133.6m.

“This increase has been delivered through improved profit margins generated from reduced construction costs on existing sites and the initial contribution from new higher margin sites acquired since the housing market downturn,” David Ritchie, Bovis’ chief executive, said.

The British house builder also went on a spending spree, adding 1,571 plots on nine new sites mostly in the south of England and has agreed terms to acquire a further 2,500 plots.

Ritchie said the company expects an 11 per cent growth in the number of sites in 2011 compared with the previous year, followed by a 16 per cent growth forecast 2012.

“We are not looking for a market recovery to drive our success: we are going to do that ourselves,” Ritchie added.

Bovis’ confidence in its growth outlook encouraged the group to declare an interim dividend of 1.5 pence, which was suspended following the housing slump in 2008.