UK: Housebuilder Bovis doubles first-half profits

BOVIS Homes today posted a doubling in half-year profits and said it expects more big gains despite tougher trading conditions since June.

The housebuilder increased its number of sales outlets by a fifth in the first half of 2012, focusing on the more robust southern market, as pre-tax profits jumped to �16.2 million from �8.1 million a year earlier.

And despite a quieter than usual summer, Bovis said its profits should “continue to increase significantly” in the second half of this year. It doubled its half-year dividend to 3p a share in a sign of its confidence.

Like other housebuilders, it is benefiting from an increasing proportion of sales on sites acquired at cheaper prices after the housing market downturn.

Bovis, whose developments in East Anglia currently include two in Colchester and others at Stowmarket and Red Lodge, completed 944 house sales in the first half of the year, up 18% on a year earlier and with an average sale price of �164,400.

It said prices in the south, where it has 70% of its land bank, were more robust than in locations further north.

The company added: “In the short term, the group expects market pricing to remain relatively stable at the current levels, as the group foresees few significant changes in either housing market supply or overall customer demand.”