In interim statement that coincides with annual general meeting today, company says sales rose 7% to £274m

Galliford Try, which is to hold its annual general meeting today, has reported improved sales volumes and income levels across its Southern-based business during the autumn.

In an interim management statement for the period from 1 July 2009 to 5 November, it said that total house sales (reserved, contracted or completed) rose 7% to £274m.

For the financial year to 30 June 2010, £184m of sales have so far been achieved, representing 60% of projected sales for the full year.

Cancellation rates have fallen to 12% in the current financial year, compared with 28% last year, which the group attributed to improved mortgage availability.

The affordable housing and regeneration side of the business has recently secured £16.8m of Kickstart funding recently secured from the Homes and Communities Agency's housing stimulus package.

Galliford Try confirmed that it is pressing ahead with plans to expand its housebuilding activities over the next three years, after raising £119m in its recent rights issue.

The group also said that its construction businesses “continued to perform well in a competitive market”. Its contracting order book increased during the period to £1.75bn, with 80% of anticipated revenues secured for the financial year to 30 June 2010.

The firm has concentrated on public and regulated sector work but has also “succeeded in winning some significant private commercial projects”, it said.

As well as securing five-year framework renewals on water contracts, Galliford Try won £83m of hotel and residential projects, £49m of health sector work, and £32m of work on Scottish highways.

It was also picked as one of the contractors on Network Rail's five-year, £1bn multi-asset enhancement framework.

Galliford Try also said it was “considering the grounds for appealing” the £8.33m fine imposed after being found to be in breach of the 1998 Competition Act following the Office of Fair Trading’s cover pricing inquiry.