Berkeley margin hits 20% as half-year profits soar

Aaron Morby 11 years ago
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London and south east house builder Berkeley saw pre-tax profits soar 41% in the first half of the year to £142m on sales up 70% to £686m.

The firm now boasts the highest operating margin among the big seven house builders at 20%.

Berkeley sold 1,927 new homes during the period, compared with 1,506 in the first half of last year, with the average selling price jumping from £254,000 to £335,000.

Chairman Tony Pidgley said: “These results, delivered in an uncertain market, demonstrate the value created by acquiring land at the right point in the economic cycle.

“The quality of the land bank, enhanced by the planning consents achieved and further investment in construction, means that Berkeley remains on track to return £568m in cash to shareholders by no later than the first milestone date of 30 September 2015.

During the last six months Berkeley committed over £202m in new land, mainly at Wapping, Hammersmith and Chiswick while keeping group gearing at less than 1%.

Major London schemes to receive planning include its 52 storey mixed-use scheme at One Blackfriars, 46 apartments at Eastbury House on the Albert Embankment and a 656 student bedroom scheme in Acton.

Outside of London, Berkeley gained planning for a new housing scheme in Caterham and 60 new homes in Cheltenham.

 

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