Firm's housebuilding expansion plan proceeds apace as sales reservations rise 15%

Contractor and housebuilder Galliford Try is on the verge of completing the acquisition of almost 5,000 housing plots as part of its housebuilding expansion plan, the firm said today.

Galliford Try said it had bought 3,200 plots in the past 18 months and had agreed terms to buy another 1,600 plots before its year end in June 2010.

This is in addition to the 156 plots it acquired with the purchase of Rosemullion Homes in December last year, and takes the group's landbank to 8,800 homes, up from 7,750 a year ago.

In a trading update in advance of its half-year results, Galliford Try said it had £324m of sales reserved, compared with £281m at this point a year ago - a 15% increase.

Its bid to expand into the housing market has also been given impetus in recent days by the announcement that it has a place on all three of the Homes and Communities Agency's (HCA) regional development partner panels, as well as receiving another £14.2m of funding from the HCA's Kickstart programme.

The firm said its contracting order book was now at £1.75bn, 3% higher than this time last year, and that 87% of this work was in the public or regulated sectors.

The firm said: “The board remains cautiously optimistic on the outlook for the housing market and is encouraged by the progress being made on transforming the landbank to enable the group's strategic expansion plan for housebuilding to be delivered. The board considers Galliford Try is well positioned to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.”