Housing demand helps Bovis built first-half sales

Housebuilder Bovis has delivered record sales for the first half of the year as it benefited from the buoyant conditions in the housing market.

Ritchie expressed confidence over the full-year outlook. Picture: Contributed
Ritchie expressed confidence over the full-year outlook. Picture: Contributed

The firm said the UK government’s Help to Buy scheme, combined with “solid” levels of mortgage availability, helped it sell 1,525 homes in the six months to the end of June, an increase of 3 per cent on the same period a year ago.

Average selling prices, excluding those for the private rented sector, jumped 10 per cent to £264,200, Bovis added.

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As a result, pre-tax profits at the Kent-based builder grew 9 per cent compared with last year to reach £53.8 million, and chief executive David Ritchie told investors that the group remained confident about the outlook for the full year.

He added: “We have delivered a strong first half performance in 2015 with a record number of legal completions. For 2015, we are on track to deliver our expected volume of new homes.”

Shareholders will receive an interim dividend of 13.7p on 20 November, up 14 per cent on last year, and Ritchie said that Bovis was planning to increase the full-year payout to 40p.

Shore Capital analyst Robin Hardy said the broker was sticking to its forecast of £173m in pre-tax profits for 2015, rising to £209m next year. He added: “As elsewhere in the sector we are highly unlikely to switch to a negative stance as we see the good yields available in the sector.”