UK housebuilder Bellway reported a rise in first half profits on the back of record home completions as it plans to ramp up sales this year.

In its interim first half results, the FTSE 250 listed company posted a 9.3 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £247.6m in the six months to the end of January.

The company, which completed a record 4,462 homes in the period, said it expects full year property sales to rise by at least 5 per cent in the year with the average price of a property rising to £260,000 from an average £252k last year.

Chairman John Watson said:

Bellway is achieving this growth whilst retaining a focus on return on capital employed and maintaining an appropriate and conservative use of bank debt and land creditors.

Our strong balance sheet and operational capacity still provides scope for further controlled expansion, enabling Bellway to achieve additional, future volume and earnings growth, by continuing to invest in attractive land opportunities across the country.

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