Housebuilder issues trading statement for past six months

Housebuilder Bellway has improved margins, sales and reservations over the past six months, the firm said in a trading statement for the six months to 31 January.

The firm said it expected its operating margin to exceed 12.5% for the period - up from 10.1% the previous year - and for this to “continue to improve throughout the rest of the financial year”.

Bellway also sold 5.8% more homes over the period - 2,597, up from 2,455 the previous year - and at a greater average price - £187,000 compared to £182,753.

The board “anticipates that the average selling price will continue its upward trend for the remainder of the financial year”.

The firm also said the number of reservations per week hit a record of 97, up from 89, which it said showed “demand for new homes remains resilient”.

It said mortgage schemes including NewBuy and New Home had boosted demand and that they accounted for 11% of reservations taken.

The order book also grew to 2,467 unites (£453m), up from 2,359 units (£423m).