Analysts forecast profit of £182m but warn that firm may struggle to meet 10,000-home target.

Taylor Woodrow will shortly announce pre-tax profit rise of 24% according to City analysts. They predicted that the firm’s pre-tax profit for 2004 would be £182m, up from £153m last year.

The 12 analysts told Dow Jones that pre-tax profit would range from £153m to £182m, excluding a £12.1m profit from St Katherine’s Docks.

One analyst said that the firm’s chances of meeting its profit targets would be dependent on it building 10,000 units. He said that the company would be “stretched” to achieve this, as it did not have as many regional offices as its peers.

In its effort to increase its number of housing completions Taylor Woodrow last year acquired rival housebuilder Wilson Connolly for £480m. It rebranded 80-85% of the business as Bryant, Taywood’s existing subsidiary.

The City will also be paying attention to Taylor Woodrow’s US business, where the company said it would be concentrating growth. The firm hopes to build 3,500 homes there this year, up from 2,800 in 2003.

Shares were up 0.7% at 250.75p this morning. An analyst said the shares were at "quite a discount to the sector".