Redrow boss Steve Morgan has predicted that housebuilding will be hit by a wave of consolidation.

Announcing a 31% rise in pre-tax profit to £34.2m for the last six months of 1999, chairman Morgan said: “I suspect that if you look forward two years, there will be considerably fewer players in the industry and that one or two names will either merge or disappear.”

He said he “would not be surprised at all” if at least one deal was struck in the next two months.

Analysts said Morgan told them that doubling in size was a reasonable goal for Redrow.

At present, many fund managers feel that housebuilders must get larger if their shares are to be seen as serious investment opportunities. In the six months to 31 December 1999, Redrow increased turnover 27.4% to £205.2m. It completed 1647 houses compared with 1573 in 1988 at an average selling price up from £102 200 to £120 300.