Bovis cheers ‘excellent’ first half as sales and prices rise

Housebuilder Bovis Homes has brushed aside Brexit uncertainty to cheer a “significant” step up in profits as it reported rising sales and prices.

The group said housing completions rose 4% to 1,647 in the six months to June 30, with average private selling prices rising to around £342,000, up from £334,700 a year earlier.

Total average selling prices rose by 3% to around £270,000.

Its average weekly sales rate per site jumped 15% to 0.6, the group added.

Chief executive Greg Fitzgerald hailed an “excellent” first half and said interim profits are set to improve markedly.

It comes as the group continues to recover from a scandal over build quality, having been dogged by complaints over unfinished homes with electrical and plumbing faults.

The group added that “market fundamentals remain stable and despite the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit”, with good demand across its sites.

It also said rising build costs were easing, having hit around 3% to 4% at the start of the year.

Mr Fitzgerald said: “I am very pleased to report an excellent first-half performance across the group and in particular, a significant improvement in profitability, a strong cash position and a step up in our sales rate compared to the same period last year.”

The cheery update comes after it had cautioned in November that uncertainty surrounding Britain’s departure from the EU was driving a slowdown in buyers of larger homes.

In February, Bovis reported a 47.4% leap in annual pre-tax profits to £168.1 million as it said it had “transformed” the quality of its homes and customer service.