Berkeley Group profits up as house building accelerates
House builder Berkeley Group has posted a jump in half-year profits and says it is now delivering more new homes than before the 2008 financial crisis.
Berkeley said pre-tax profits rose 19.2% to £169.5m for the six months to 31 October, with revenues up nearly 20% to £821m.
The group sold 2,294 new homes in the period, up from 1,927 in the same period last year.
Chairman Tony Pidgley said it had been "another period of strong performance".
The firm was on course to return £568m in dividend payments to shareholders by September 2015, he said.
Some of Berkeley's flagship schemes include the Riverlight development near Battersea Power Station and 190 Strand in central London.
"Over the last five years Berkeley has doubled the size of its business, investing over £1.5bn into land and over £2.5bn into build, sustaining 16,000 direct and indirect jobs each year and building over 15,000 homes of every tenure in vibrant new places," said Mr Pidgley.
Berkeley's shares rose nearly 9% in early morning trading and have risen more than 50% in a year.
Earlier this week, research company Markit said domestic building activity was at its fastest for 10 years.
Markit's purchasing managers' index for the construction sector rose to 62.6 in November, up from 59.4 in October. The higher the reading above 50, the stronger the growth in activity.