HOUSEBUILDER Taylor Wimpey said it had benefited from a stable UK housing market throughout the first half of the year and was set to report improved results.
The group, which teetered on the brink of collapse in 2009 due to its massive debts, said it had recorded an average of 0.6 sales per week in the half year to July 1, compared to 0.56 in the previous year.
Taylor said mortgage lending continues to be restricted, but it had been encouraged by the number of higher loan to value products since the start of the year under the Government’s NewBuy scheme.
The group completed the final stage of a financial overhaul in July when it sold its North American division, leaving it to focus on its UK business.
Trading in recent weeks continued to be stable, despite continuing uncertainty in the wider economy, Taylor said.
Despite the positive update, shares closed down 2.5% or 1.3p at 48p.
Chris Millington, analyst at brokers Numis Securities, upgraded his pre-tax profit forecasts for the full year following the update to £166m – which compares to £90m last year.
Taylor said the improvements were driven by increasing the proportion of strategic land sites, focus on costs and benefits from a new house range.
The group completed 5,083 homes during the first half against 4,707 last year.
The overall average selling price rose to about £175,000 from £168,000 the previous year. Total orders stood at £960m at July 1 against £932m before.