Berkeley takes first place as Britain's biggest builder
Thursday 5th July 2012
Berkeley Group’s pre-tax profit more than doubled in its last financial year.
It rocketed 58% to £214.8m for the year ending April 30 – the biggest profit for six years, and well ahead of expectations.
Revenue rose to £1.041bn from £742.6m over the same period last year. House sales also shot up to 3,565 from 2,544 the year before. The average selling price increased 3% to £280,000.
The news pushed up the company’s share price, valuing it at over £1.85bn and overtaking Persimmon by that measure as Britain’s biggest house builder.
“It is pleasing to report a tremendous year of performance and growth for Berkeley,” said managing director Rob Perrins. “But we recognise that we are operating in an uncertain market and must remain sensitive to changes in the market and the wider economy.”
He said that the firm is becoming more London-centric, saying: “You can always sell in London.”
A string of other developers also reported strong results.
In a half-year trading statement, Taylor Wimpey says it expects a rise in operating margin to 11%. Its selling price in the first six months of this year averaged £175,000 compared with £168,000 for the same period last year.
Reservations have been running at 0.60 sales per outlet per week, up from 0.56, with the number boosted by 201 reservations under the NewBuy 95% mortgage scheme.
Persimmon, in its half-year trading statement, said it had built 6% more homes in the first six months of this year than last, with the figure standing at 4,712. It also opened 65 new sites and anticipates opening a further 60 new sites later this year.
The average sales price of a Persimmon new home was up 7% to stand at £171,400.
Not to be outdone, Cala, reporting on its full financial year to June 30, said it had built 24% more houses than in the previous financial year (875 against 649), with reservations up 23%.
Its average selling price climbed from £328,00 to £339,000.
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