Housebuilder Berkeley Group is on course to return 200p a share to shareholders in January after the sale of Crosby Homes to developer Lend Lease in July last year.

Berkeley, which has just posted results for the year to 30 April 2006, generated nearly £476m in cash last year. About half of that sum came from the sale of Crosby, based in the North and the Midlands.

Pre-tax profit for the year to the end of April rose 6.2% to £165m and turnover increased 15.5% to £917.9m. The share price rose 16p, or 1.3%, to 1213p.

Further payments to shareholders are scheduled for January 2009 (200p a share) and January 2011 (300p a share). Berkeley had previously declared it would return a total of 1200p a share, which it is on course to achieve.

The group sold 3001 homes last year at an average selling price of £293,000, compared with £309,000 the year before. Berkeley said the lower price followed requests from the government for more affordable homes.

Managing director Tony Pidgley and chairman Roger Lewis said the company was running ahead of its business plan targets.

Pidgley said of the business plan: "This model enables us to secure future returns and to maximise shorter-term opportunities. As Berkeley has moved from its traditional housebuilding heritage, my vision has been to create a premier urban renaissance business.”