Housebuilder Westbury has announced a record profit for the 12 months since it bought John Maunders.

Pre-tax profit rose 44% to £44.1m in the year to 28 February 1999, with house sales up 24% to 4283. This figure included 942 sales from former John Maunders businesses, which Westbury bought last spring.

Chairman Geoffrey Maddrell said low inflation and low interest rates were proving good for business.

"At last, the industry has an opportunity to break out of the destructive cycle of boom and bust and deliver a much more stable pattern of growth. This can only be good news for housebuilders and home buyers alike." Maddrell also welcomed government initiatives to increase brownfield development, as it had expertise in remediating former industrial areas.

But he repeated many housebuilders' complaints about planning, saying a call for more brownfield development needed to be accompanied by a more flexible system.

Turnover rose 37% to £416.7m, and Westbury's operating margin was up 0.8% to 12.6%.