Luxury properties help Maunders to 62% rise

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The Independent Online
CUTS in buyer discounts and a small rise in average selling prices helped boost profits at John Maunders, the Manchester-based housebuilder, by 62 per cent, writes Martin Flanagan.

Average selling prices rose from pounds 66,000 to pounds 69,000 in the year to the end of June, as the group built more luxury properties, particularly in the South. The proportion of first-time buyers fell from 49 per cent to 43 per cent.

Pre-tax profits rose to pounds 6.2m ( pounds 3.8m) on sales up to pounds 66.1m ( pounds 59.8m). The number of homes sold was 949 (904).

John Maunders, chairman, said part-exchange deals remained a cornerstone of the company's strategy - accounting for a little under one-third of sales.

A final dividend of 3.05p makes a total of 5.50p - up 6.8 per cent. Maunders also announced yesterday that Sir Eric Pountain, the former chairman of Tarmac, with 40 years' experience in the housebuilding industry, has joined the company as a non-executive director.