Berkeley profits rise in first half but group cautious over future

New homes

New homes

Interim results published this morning showed pre-tax profits had risen 36 per cent to £533.3m in the six months to the end of October, on a 14 per cent rise in revenues.

The FTSE 100 firm said it expects to generate £3.3bn in pre-tax profits between 2016 and 2021, up from previous estimates of £3bn. Nonetheless, it said it delivered 2,117 homes during the period, accounting for more than 10 per cent of the capital's new private and affordable homes.

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Chief executive Rob Perrins said: "There remains good underlying demand for property in London and the South East, but the combination of uncertain United Kingdom economic and political outlook and high property taxation continues to mean customers are more circumspect and inevitably purchasing later in the development cycle".

Berkeley is unique among housebuilders in that it does not rely on the government's Help to Buy scheme.

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There have been contrasting views among builders on the housing sector in recent weeks, although most agree there is a clear slowdown in London - Berkeley's main market.

"This is felt most keenly in London, where all housing transactions are down 18 per cent since past year and new starts remain more than 30 per cent down on 2015".

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