Trading is 'stable' but awaits return of mortgage availability

Gleeson has announced its cash balance at 30 April 2010 was £12.4m covering the period from 1 January 2010 to 19 May 2010.

The housebuilder and land developer said in its interim management statement, that its strong balance sheet had enabled the payment of a special dividend in March 2010 of £7.9m but added that, while trading remains “stable”, a more sustained upturn in house sales relied on a further increase in both mortgage availability and consumer confidence.

Private completions in the group's housebuilding and regeneration business are ahead of the comparable period last year with selling prices generally stable and on some sites showing improvement. Construction is increasing but remains tied to sales rates. In the period, the group acquired one new low cost development site in the North of England and further land acquisitions are expected.

Gleeson Strategic Land did not sell any sites with planning permission during the period but the group will continue to focus on the acquisition of low cost land in the North of England.

The company is in talks to sell the Powerminster business to Morgan Sindall's affordable housing division, Lovell.