Galliford in boost from new homes

HOUSEBUILDER and construction company Galliford Try’s first-half adjusted pre-tax profit rose 29 per cent on a pickup in housebuilding demand, and the company raised its interim dividend by 36 per cent.

The company, which was founded by W S Try in 1908 as a construction business carrying out work in west London, said that housebuilding sales for the first half of the year were up 29 per cent at £152.9m.

“The spring selling season remains crucial, and although it is too early to judge whether it will be sustained, the improvement in our sales rate during the first few weeks of 2011 is encouraging,” chief executive Greg Fitzgerald said.

In December, the company had said it was on track to hit its housebuilding growth targets, despite a slump in autumn house sales, and was ready to seize construction opportunities.

June to December pre-tax profit before exceptional items was £17m compared with £13.2m last year.

The company’s revenue was marginally higher at £575.9m.

Galliford Try shares have gained 14.5 per cent since the company posted a 14 per cent rise in its five-month house sales in November.

Last week, rival homebuilder Redrow said it was more upbeat on its prospects, as buyers flocked back to view homes.