Housebuilder Bellway said that it was in line to deliver a record annual profit this year, despite a “weaker” housing market.

In a trading update to the stock exchange, Bellway said that it had sold 2930 homes in the six months to 31 January 2005, 7% more than in the same period last year.

Bellway’s average selling price rose 5% to £165,000, which the housebuilder said was still one of the lowest in the industry. Bellway has pre-sold 86% of this year’s target of about 7000 homes.

Bellway’s half-year results will be announced on 19 April and it is expecting to report an operating margin slightly ahead of the 18.5% in the same period last year. The company’s order book stands at £560m compared with £542m last year.