Bellway buys land for pounds 35m

BELLWAY, the housebuilder that raised pounds 36m for expansion three months ago, has agreed to buy more than pounds 35m worth of land.

Alan Robson, finance director, said the supply of good land was increasing as sellers sensed the end of the recession. However, finding land on acceptable terms remained difficult and the group continued to apply its strict purchase criteria.

Despite the purchases - some of which have still to be paid for - the group has more than pounds 40m in the bank, compared with pounds 16m when it launched the rights issue. 'If the current rate of purchases continues, we may be back into borrowings in the next financial year,' Mr Robson said.

Bellway made pounds 5.8m pre-tax profit in the six months to January, up from pounds 5.5m last time, on sales 7 per cent ahead at pounds 56.1m. Earnings per share rose to 7.8p from 7.5p.

The interim dividend was held at 4p, but it is forecasting an increase in the final payment from 7.5p to 8p - at the time of the rights issue, it merely promised a maintained payment. It also reiterated its forecast of not less than pounds 16m pre-tax profits, based on the sale of at least 2,200 houses, for the full year.

The recovery in the housing market evident at the start of the year has continued and reservations are running about 30 per cent ahead of last year. But Mr Robson said business remained patchy. House prices are firming, however, and the group is managing to cut incentives to purchasers at some of its developments.

Bellway aims to increase sales to 4,000 a year eventually. 'If the market continues to improve, that aim will get closer,' Mr Robson said.

The group sold 833 houses in the six months up from 698 the previous year. However, average prices fell by pounds 9,000 to pounds 63,000, partly due to an increase in sales to housing associations which generally attract lower margins.

Interest receipts fell from pounds 1.4m to pounds 792m as the group used up the proceeds of the previous pounds 25m rights issue, launched in 1991.

The shares closed 1p higher at 399p - 79p above the rights price.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living