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Galliford Try to beat profit forecasts

Galliford Try has announced it expects to beat current profit forecasts on the back of strong housebuilding performance.The company's interim management statement states that pre-tax profits are expected to be "above the current analysts' consensus of £89.7 million and not less than £92 million". Continuing improvements in the housing market have helped the firm boost its performance.According to the statement, the company has achieved a record £1 billion of sales reserved, contracted or completed across both Linden Homes and Galliford Try Partnerships.The firm says its margin enhancement programme is progressing to plan, while Galliford Try Partnerships is experiencing strong demand for both contracting and mixed tenure projects, with a contracting order book of £500 million. Its housebuilding division reports a record landbank of 13,750 plots, of which 91 per cent have been secured at current market values. All plots have been secured for 2015, in addition to 75 per cent of plots for 2016.Construction is also a strong performer for the firm, with an order book of £1.3 billion - up from £1.25 billion at the end of 2013. In addition, 80 per cent of next year's revenue has been secured, with increased opportunities reported across all business units.Chief executive Greg Fitzgerald said: "All of our businesses, in common with the industry, continue to experience challenging production conditions, with supply of both labour and materials constrained by strong demand; however these conditions are stabilising and we continue to manage them proactively."He added that year end net debt is expected to rise compared to June 2013, reflecting planned higher investment in land. Good progress is being made towards achieving disciplined growth across the business, the chief executive said.In February, Galliford Try announced an ambitious plan to double its profits by 2018. It said it would increase turnover in its housing and construction arms by 50 per cent on 2013 levels after posting record half-year results. 

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