Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey set for 80% jump in profits

HOUSEBUILDER Taylor Wimpey forecast an 80% jump in operating profits today after a key target in its recovery plan was achieved ahead of schedule.

The group, whose current developments include sites in Kesgrave, near Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Colchester, Wivenhoe, Braintree and Red Lodge, near Mildenhall, completed 2% more homes at 10,180 last year and said its average selling price showed a marginal increase to �184,000.

Its stated aim of double-digit operating margins in the UK has been achieved ahead of plan and will result in operating profits of more than �88million for the second half of 2011, compared with �49.1m a year earlier.

The margin improvement, which compares with a full-year rate of just 0.8% and 2.2% during the financial crisis in 2009 and 2008 respectively, comes after the group slashed build costs and bought land at cheaper prices.

While the company said it was too early to judge the market for the year ahead, it reported that the first two weeks of trading in 2012 followed the “encouraging patterns” of the second half of last year.

It added that its portfolio of sales outlets was well positioned with “aspirational products and achievable prices” for its target customers.