The £1.5m television advertising campaign launched by housebuilder Berkeley this month is already reaping benefits, says the board.

Directors said this week that its web site is now getting 2000 hits a day compared with 100 a month before the commercial was aired. The advertisement ends with a freeze-frame of the firm’s web address.

The brownfield specialist, which spends about £15m on advertising and marketing a year, said it had had 250 serious enquiries via the Internet last week and 185 the week before. The advertising campaign is the first by a housebuilder since Barratt’s in the 1980s. “The reaction has caught us a little by surprise,” said chairman Roger Lewis.

Berkeley revealed the success of its advertising campaign at its results meeting this week. It reported a 30% rise in pre-tax profit to £143.6m and turnover up 15% from £697m to £799m for the year to 30 April.

The firm built 2915 units last year, compared with 2825 in 1998, at an average price of £251 000 compared with £232 000 the previous year. It expects to build 20% more this year, albeit with only a slight increase in price.

Chief executive Tony Pidgley said prices were cooling off a little in parts of the South-east where the company built 73% of its houses last year, compared with 80% in 1998.