Profitable Bovis gets set for a spending spree

HOUSEBUILDER Bovis is steaming ahead with plans to invest in new land after moving back into profit in 2009.

The FTSE 250 group says it has restarted its land acquisition scheme with four sites with planning consent snapped up in the fourth quarter of 2009 and terms agreed on another 15.

It had £122m net cash in its coffers at the end of the year and believes it is “well positioned to increase its output capacity, as markets recover, supporting future profitable growth”.

Bovis reported pre-tax profits of £4.8m in 2009 compared to a pre-tax loss of £78.7m the previous year.

It completed 1,803 homes and generated revenues of £281.5m.

The average sales price rose by three per cent to £154,600 as it concentrated its efforts on private homes rather than social housing.

However, the value of the average private home dropped nine per cent to £165,000 – around 20 per cent lower than the price tag back in 2007 when the market was strong.

The group, which is one of the smaller listed housebuilders on the London Stock Exchange, built only 911 homes during the year and completed another 1,803 homes, 14 less than the previous year.