Company plans to sell 1250 homes and abandon the luxury market, while posting £22.7m pre-tax profit

Galliford Try, the housebuilder and construction group, plans to increase the number of homes it sells by 50% in the next three years.

The group last week outlined plans to sell 1250 homes over three years by expanding its regional business and sticking to the middle market rather than luxury homes.

The company revealed that pre-tax profit increased 32% to £22.7m, according to its annual results for the year ended 30 June 2004. Turnover was up 8% to £687m.

Andy Sturgess, who was brought in as managing director of the construction arm last year to turn the business around, was optimistic: “Construction was pretty flat last year and we’ve had some difficult times but we are through that now.”

The construction division, which made a loss last year, returned to the black with a £4.2m operating profit. About 80% of Galliford Try’s work was in the public sector.

We've had some difficult times - we're through that now

Andy Sturgess, Galliford Try

Last week Galliford Try was chosen as preferred bidder for a £150m PFI school project by Northamptonshire council. In partnership with investment bank Babcock & Brown and facilities manager Amey BPO Services, the firm will build six schools and refurbish a further 41 over two years.

Earlier this month it was awarded the pre-construction works contract to install a £50m retractable roof over Wimbledon’s Centre Court.

Galliford Try’s share price, which has been rising since a low of 18.5p a year and a half ago, rose 2% to 55.75p after Thurday’s results.

The firm said it was on course to meet its profit margin target of 2% by the end of the 2006 financial year.