North East headquartered housebuilder Bellway plans to lift house building volumes by 20% in the coming financial year after posting record first-half revenues.
The business said it has seen strong demand in the spring selling season, leading to a 39.5% lift in sales to £701.1m for the six months to January 31 2014.
Pre-tax profits have also soared to £109.2m, up 73.3% on the £64.4m recorded for the half-year ended last January.
Bellway said it has responded to strengthening market conditions across all regions by increasing the number of homes under construction to accommodate consumer demand, leading to the group completing the sale of 3,245 new homes, an increase of 25% compared with the same period last year.
Chairman John Watson, said: “Bellway has made significant progress in the six months ended 31 January 2014, with a 74.9% rise in earnings per share to 66.3p.
“These substantial improvements have been driven by growth in volume, average selling price and operating margin.
“The Group’s operational and balance sheet capacity for volume growth has allowed Bellway to respond positively to strong consumer demand. The resulting growth in earnings, together with a strong focus on increasing return on capital employed, has allowed the Group to enhance the total return to shareholders through growth in the net asset value, together with the payment of a regular and progressive dividend.”
Watson also announced a 77.8% increase in the interim dividend to 16.0p per ordinary share.