Raine halves payout as profits rise

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The Independent Online
THE STOCK market shrugged off a halving of Raine's interim dividend to 1p yesterday, but pushed the shares 4p lower to 99p after the housebuilder's Californian subsidiary fell below expectations.

The fall in the dividend - a rebalancing of the interim and final payouts - had been expected since last year's final dividend was cut from 4p to 1p.

Driven by lower interest payable, pre-tax profits rose 24 per cent to pounds 3.44m ( pounds 2.76m). Earnings per share were 28 per cent higher at 1.06p.

In the UK, Hassall Homes, the speculative housing operation, increased sales by 23 per cent to 803 units. The average selling price rose pounds 1,500 to pounds 69,950, and is expected to reach pounds 80,000 this year following a move towards bigger houses. To that end, Raine spent pounds 21.5m during the period on 1,236 new plots of land. The land bank now stands at almost 5,000 plots.