Spring in the air at Bellway as profits rise

 
City A.M. Reporter
BRITISH homebuilder Bellway expects its profits this year to grow by a third after a strengthening spring market gave encouragement for an increase in sales.

Posting a 26 per cent jump in first-half profits yesterday, the company said site visitors and reservations have returned to the pattern of a “traditional spring market” in spite of economists’ gloomy housing market forecasts.

“Expectations for this financial year are that profits will grow by a factor of maybe a third,” finance director Alistair Leitch said.

Bellway, the UK’s fifth largest housebuilder by market value, said that consumer confidence remained fragile but it was well positioned to increase returns through rising volumes, growing average sales prices and improving margins.

Bellway reported a £24m pre-tax profit for the six months to the end of January, up from £19m in the same period a year earlier. It raised its interim dividend by 12 per cent to 3.7p.