Berkeley profits from South East house demand
Published:  07 December, 2010

LONDON: House builder Berkeley Group defied housing market gloom by posting a strong rise in profits. The homebuilder's focus on the south east of England enabled it to benefit more from the recovery in demand than some of its competitors. The group sold 1249 homes in the first half compared with 914 a year earlier.

Pre-tax profit for the six months to the end of October came in at £61.6m, up 19% on £52m a year earlier. Revenue was up 16% at £336.2m.

The company said money due on forward sales had increased by 22% compared with a year ago and is confident of beating its full-year forecasts.

Tony Pidgley, group chairman said: "This strong set of results represents an excellent performance from Berkeley at a time when the economy is looking to find traction for what is proving an elusive sustained recovery."

"Underlying demand for the well-located, quality homes developed by Berkeley in London and the South East [means] the group is well positioned to deliver enhanced shareholder value," he said."

The latest figures from the Nationwide released earlier this week showed that the average house price in the UK fell by 0.3% in November - the fourth drop in the past five months.

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