Newcastle-based property developer Bellway plc has reported substantial growth on the back of the strengthening UK housing market.
A pre-close trading update for the year ended July 31, 2014, shows the group saw a 21.% increase in the number of housing completions to 6,851.
The average selling price, meanwhile, grew from £193,025 last year to £213,000 as a result of ongoing changes in product and geographic mix, as well as pricing improvements.
Bellway said it had an “excellent forward sales position” with a substantial 36% growth in the value of the forward order book to a new record of £924.3m, compared to £679.5m in 2013.
During the year, around £460m was expended on land and land creditors, up from £300m last year, securing sites that meet or exceed the group’s minimum acquisition criteria.
The firm’s balance sheet strength was also maintained, with net cash of £5m compared to a net bank debt of £5.8m in 2013, which Bellway says provides significant capacity for future investment.
Chief executive, Ted Ayres, said: “The group has reacted positively to the continued strength of the UK housing market, significantly increasing output to satisfy customer demand.
“The favourable trading environment, together with the group’s national presence and strong balance sheet, ensures that Bellway is well positioned to continue its growth strategy and this, together with a strong focus on return on capital employed, should lead to further enhancements to shareholder value.”
Bellway will announce its preliminary results on Tuesday, October 14.