Bovis Homes has told investors that its second half results will be better than the first, despite an 8% jump in interim pre-tax profit.
Bovis said the expected improvement in returns for the second half of the year was the result of bad weather, which had delayed work earlier in the year. These delayed projects are expected to be completed in the six months to December.

Chief executive Malcolm Harris said: "The first six months' results were in line with our expectations, reflecting the poor weather conditions endured during 2000 and the first quarter of 2001."

Completions fell from 1056 last year to 979 this year because of the bad weather, but the average selling price increased £17,000 to £138,000. The group was able to increase average selling prices, despite falling volumes, because of increased sales of larger houses.

The group's operating margin increased slightly from 21.4% from 21.8% and pre-tax profit rose 8% to £28.6m. Turnover stood at £145.2m, up from £129.7m for the same period last year.

Bovis also joined with other housebuilders, describing the housing market as buoyant, despite concerns that house price rises are out of control.

Reservations were ahead of the same period last year, while low interest rates were expected to maintain demand.

Bovis' landbank with planning consent increased from 10,133 to 11,055 plots.