Top 10 housebuilder Wilson Bowden continued the good news in the sector when it announced record profit this week.

The Leicester-based firm’s pre-tax profit rose 25% to £100.6m in the year to 31 December 1999.

Expansion of its geographical coverage and product diversification helped boost the firm, which achieved a 10% rise in completions to 3623, on turnover up 15% to £610m.

Chairman and chief executive David Wilson said: “Over the past three years, we have achieved a 145% increase in pre-tax profit and a 51% increase in shareholders’ funds.“

Wilson said he was confident that buoyancy in the sector would continue. He said: “While the prospect of interest rate rises clearly raises debate as to the strength of the housing market in 2000, fiscal caution and business growth ought not to be totally incompatible.”

He added: “It could be good for the sector as a whole if house price inflation, which in my view is confined to certain hot spots, were to be somewhat evened down.”

Wilson Bowden’s landbank stands at 13 000 plots, equivalent to more than three-and-a-half years of work at its current rate of production. The company claimed that 6000 strategic housing plots were likely to receive planning permission during 2000-01.