Bellway plans to increase output after record year

BellwayBellway has revealed plan to build up to 10 per cent more homes this year after it sold a record 7,752 properties in the 12 months to end-July, helping to raise pre tax profits by 44 per cent.

The housebuilder said the strength of the market in Britain, underpinned by low mortgage rates and a shortage of supply of properties, was reflected in its order book, which stood at 4,363 homes at the start of its new financial year.

Chief executive Ted Ayres said reservations in the last nine weeks were up 16 per cent on a year ago, in part because the company had more properties available.

He said: “It’s been a very good start in the first nine weeks, and it gives us confidence we can do volume growth of around 10 percent this year.”

Bellway, which posted pre tax profit of £354.2 million, raised its total dividend for the year by almost half to 77 pence a share.

The Group’s owned and controlled land bank has risen to 36,211 plots (2014 - 35,434 plots) after spending £620m on land and land creditors.

Its modest net bank debt of only £38.5m gives the firm significant capacity for future investment in land and work in progress.

Chairman John Watson said: “Bellway has produced another outstanding set of results, completing a record number of new homes, whilst simultaneously making a record investment in land and opening a further two new divisions in the last twelve months.

“This successful implementation of the Group’s disciplined growth strategy has enabled the Board to propose a final dividend of 52.0p per share, bringing the total dividend for the year to 77.0p.

“Bellway is well positioned to continue delivering its strategy for growth, investing in high quality locations and delivering further sustainable returns for shareholders. The outlook remains positive and the strength of the forward order book should enable the Group to achieve volume growth of up to 10 per cent in the current financial year.”

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