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Bellway announces plans to scale up operations

Bellway has announced plans to significantly increase building volumes following strong half-year results.The company registered a 25 per cent increase in sales in their first half results, selling 3,245 homes in the period.This helped boost revenue by 40 per cent to £701.1 million - the highest the firm has ever achieved in a first half trading period. Pre-tax profits rose by 73.3 per cent to 103.8 million. Chief executive Ted Ayres commented: "The order book is significantly ahead, having grown in value by 63.5 per cent to £829.5 million at March 9th 2014, representing 3,944 homes. "As a result of this strong start to the spring selling season, the board now expects that the group will deliver volume growth of up to 20 per cent in the current financial year."He added that Bellway is now well positioned to deliver further, sustainable volume growth in the coming year. The group has invested in new land opportunities, meeting or exceeding its minimum acquisition criteria in respect of gross margin and return on capital employed. Land expenditure in the period totalled £240 million and its land bank has risen to 34,057 plots.   Bellway opened two new divisions in Manchester and the Thames Valley last August. These have performed well, contributing 62 legal completions during the period.The firm's eight southern divisions have generated a 62 per cent share of its revenue, compared with 58 per cent in the same period last year.Partly as a result of this strong performance in the south, Bellway's average selling price rose by 13.1 per cent, to £212,071.The developer is the latest to announce plans to scale up its operations following strong financial results, as the UK's housing market goes from strength to strength. Record low interest rates and the government's Help to By initiative have boosted the performance of a range of companies, including Barratt, Taylor Wimpey and CALA Group. 

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