Bellway Homes increases pre-tax profit by 21% and says it aims to build 10,000 homes per annum by 2010.

Bellway Homes has posted a strong set of result for the year to July 2004. Pre-tax profit rose 21.4% and hit £200m for the first time enabling the company to increase dividend per share by 25% to 25p.

Bellway said that it was confident of future growth despite five interest rate rises over the last year. At the present interest rate level Bellway said it was confident that the market was still sustainable.

Chief executive John Watson said: "Increasing production will start to come from our new divisions in East Scotland and Thames Gateway North, allowing the Group to move towards its target of selling 10,000 homes per annum by 2010."

Bellway’s average selling price waas £161,400 and the company said it would continue to focus on low to medium-cost homes as well as build relationships with various government agencies and housing associations.

Watson said: “This section of the business will grow in the future as planning permissions are granted, particularly in the South East of England, imposing a 30-50% social housing content.”

Urban projects on the horizon include Barking Riverside, a joint mixed-use development with English Partnerships in Barking Reach consisting of 11,000 homes; a 900-unit new community on Cardiff Bay and a government pathfinder project in Sefton, Liverpool.

Bellway also sees future growth stemming from its increased land bank. During the year the group acquired 8,910 plots, 35% more than it sold and increased total number of plots by 12.5% to 20,700.

The company sold 6,610 homes last year and increased turnover 14.5% to £1,092.6.