Retirement homes specialist McCarthy & Stone has announced an 80% hike in pre-tax profit for the six months to 28 February, compared with the same period last year.
Pre-tax profit was £39.7m, with turnover up 60% to £102.1m. As a result, interim dividend increased 18% to 3.9p a share. Chairman John McCarthy said that strong performances in the South-east and South-west had boosted figures.

McCarthy added that the firm's geographical spread was saving it from a softening housing market.

He said: "There has been considerable comment about the weakening of the central London market but we are not involved in this area and our exposure within the M25 is modest; equivalent to just 4% of sales in the first half."

In his chairman's statement, McCarthy said that the company's build costs were increasing 5%, of which 2% were caused by changed to the Building Regulations.