Top six housebuilder Westbury Homes lifted pre-tax profit 24% to £24.6m for the six months to 31 August 1999.

The company focused on increasing its average sales price rather than overall sales. This was reflected in its turnover, which was up only 1% to £226m and its average price, which rose 11% from £90 000 to £100 000.

The company achieved the price rise despite operating outside the booming South-east. Its activities are concentrated in central and southern England, South Wales, and the North-west. Westbury said that demand had remained steady in all of its regions, with higher demand in a few southern hot-spots.

Westbury is building homes of four or more bedrooms in suburban areas and more expensive two-bedroom homes in the inner cities. It built 2137 houses in the six months to 31 August 1999.