UK homebuilder Bellway posts surge in profit, sees 10% rise in output

·1 min read
FILE PHOTO: A Bellway sign is seen at a housing construction site in London

(Reuters) -Homebuilder Bellway reported a surge in annual profit on Tuesday and said it was expecting to build 10% more homes for the year ending July 2022 even as it grappled with a shortage of materials.

The company warned that a lorry-driver shortage in the UK and fuel-supply disruptions had hit the availability of building materials and that construction output in the first half of 2022 was likely to be similar to 2021.

Bellway, which builds houses ranging from one-bedroom apartments to six-bedroom family homes and luxury penthouses, laid out plans to bolster its annual output to 11,100 new homes in the year ending July 2022 and 12,200 in financial year 2023.

The British housing market has been vibrant in the past year as people took advantage of extended tax breaks and low borrowing costs and looked for bigger living space during the pandemic. House prices have also been on the rise due to high demand and low supply.

The company said underlying pretax profit for the year ended July 31 rose 72% to 530.8 million pounds ($731.12 million).

Bellway aims to generate a cumulative, underlying profit before taxation of around 1.25 billion pounds by 2023, adding that about one-third of the after-tax amount would be returned to shareholders in dividends. It proposed a total dividend of 117.5 pence per share for 2021, a 135% increase from last year.

($1 = 0.7260 pounds)

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru and Federico Maccioni in Gdansk; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Anil D'Silva)

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