Housebuilder sees improving consumer confidence but says 2005 results would be slightly below forecasts.

Bovis Homes today said that its results for the year to 31 December 2005 would be “marginally below” analysts’ forecasts.

In a pre-close trading update, ahead of its results announcement on 13 March, Bovis said that it was a further update following on from the company’s interim results in September, at which point analysts reduced full-year profit expectations.

Bovis said that in 2005 it expanded its social housing business, doubling the number of completions in this division, which contributed to 22% of the group’s total completions.

The company had a land bank of almost 13,000 consented plots at the end of December, an increase of 1500 during the year.

Bovis achieved an operating margin of around 23.5% and its average selling price was £175,000.

Chief executive Malcolm Harris said: “Whilst it is early for housing market conditions in 2006 to be predicted, based upon the last quarter of 2005 there are encouraging signs of improving consumer confidence.”

Shares in the company were little affected after the announcement this morning, down less than 1% to 767p.