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Gleeson forecasts rise in completions

Housing developer Gleeson has become the latest firm to post strong results, with Help to Buy boosting its performance.The company, which focuses on the north of England and specialises in low-cost family homes, reported a 33 per cent rise in completions in the year to June 30th 2014. This is a significant increase on the 406 completions recorded during the previous year.Reservations during the period were significantly up, and the business currently has 37 active sites, compared with 29 in the corresponding period last year.In addition, total sales in the year to date, comprising reserved, contracted and completed homes, were up 63 per cent on last year.Gleeson says it is in "active discussions" relating to the acquisition of a further 10 sites. If these are purchased, they will add 1,300 plots to the regeneration land pipeline, taking the total number of plots to in excess of 6,100.Help to Buy provided a substantial boost for the firm, accounting for 31 per cent of the completions in the year.At present, Gleeson has eight sites with planning permission. Six of these, consisting of 706 plots, are intended for sale in the current financial year.The company says that if these sales are achieved, its strategic land division will contribute a higher level of profit than in any financial year since 2007.Some 67 sites totalling 3,811 gross acres make up the business' strategic land portfolio and these have the potential to deliver 21,900 plots.In the statement, the board says it "remains confident that there will be further substantial improvements in the Group's trading performance in both the current year and beyond".  "Although planning delays have created some uncertainty with respect to the exact number of land sales that will be achieved within the current financial year, the Group's profit for the full year is expected to be in line with, or possibly better than, current market expectations," the statement continues.Gleeson is the latest housebuilder to report strong results as the housing recovery continues to gather pace.Recently, Bellway announced plans to scale up its operations following strong half-year results. Barratt, Taylor Wimpey and CALA Group are among the other firms reporting strong performances. 

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