Berkeley Group chief executive Tony Pidgley has said he wants to stay at the helm of the company he founded for at least another decade
Fifty-four-year-old Pidgley told Building that he is determined to remain in place until well into his sixties.

Earlier in the year, Pidgley's son, Tony Jr, tried to buy the company in a deal that would have effectively sidelined his father. The proposed takeover collapsed within 24 hours of its announcement.

But Pidgley Sr was bullish about his future after the announcement of Berkeley's year-end results last week. He said: "I would like to think that there is a good 10 years left in me yet."

Berkeley unveiled strong results, which dented claims of a collapsing housing market. Pre-tax profit for the 12 months to 30 April was £221.2m. This was a rise of 12.7% on the £196.2m that it made last year. Turnover rose 17.8% to £1.15bn.

Pidgley commented that the new-build market remained strong. He said: "It's a normal, steady housing market – you just have to price the product right to move it."

Berkeley has reduced net debt by more than £100m to £143.1m. Gearing fell from 25.1% to 13.5%.

Pidgley confirmed that Alastair Mellon, the former managing director of construction internet portal Asite, will join Berkeley Group in September.

He will be a project director, ranked just below board level.

Asite last week announced its results for the 12 months to 31 December. It made a pre-tax loss of £5.4m, an improvement on the £8.4m loss last year. Turnover from continuing operations rose to £1.6m, compared with £300,000 last year.

Sir John Egan, chairman of Asite, said that the decision to dispose of non-core businesses, made at the end of last year, had improved results. He said: "Given the good work of the executive team in reducing the cost base to a more sustainable level, I look forward to continuing progress."