Housebuilder issues bullish statement as completion rates rise 7.1%

Bellway has said pre-tax profits will exceed market expectations this year in a bullish trading update to the City.

The housebuilder said pre-tax profit would be ahead of the market consensus of £62m as completions jumped 7.1%, with 4,922 homes finished over the last period.

Operating margins were also up, with the figure set to rise from 6.7% to between 8% and 9% for the full year. Its average selling price was also up 7.3% on last year at £175,000.

The statement added its reservation rates had also risen over the period, as had its order book by £6m to £427m.

The builder has net cash of £3m with combined bank facilities of £290m, after spending £250m on land and land creditors over the year. It added 4,500 plots valued at £230m currently have terms agreed.

Bellway’s group finance director Alistair Leitch will retire from the board on 31 January 2012, to be replaced by its group chief accountant Keith Adey, the statement added.