Bovis profits driven higher by stronger prices in South

The home builder Bovis Homes has revealed a growing North-South divide in activity in the housing market, as it more than doubled annual pre-tax profits and reinstated its dividend after a two-year hiatus.

Bovis said that reservations were up 11 per cent in the first nine weeks of this year, although the South, which accounts for just under 70 per cent of its land, is driving this uplift.

David Ritchie, the chief executive of Bovis, said: "We believe that the affordability metric in the South is stronger than in the North."

Bovis's pre-tax profits grew by 147 per cent to £18.5m for the year to 31 December, on revenues up 6 per cent to £298.6m.