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12 Mar 2021 | 07:02

Berkeley says profit on track to match year before

(Sharecast News) - Berkeley Group said it was on track to report annual profit similar to the year before after "robust" trading in the four months to the end of February. The statement puts the housebuilder in line to broadly match the £504m of pretax profit achieved in its last financial year.

Berkeley said forward sales are expected to be more than £1.7bn at the end of the year on 30 April putting it in a strong position to start the next financial year. The FTSE 100 group said it expected a similar level of profitability next year, underpinning its commitment to return £280m to shareholders each year.

The estimated future gross margin in the land bank is expected to be more than last year's £6.4bn and net cash will be around the £954m reported at the half year subject to investment levels and timing, Berkeley said.

"Since the half year, Berkeley has continued to trade robustly," the company said. "Berkeley remains on track to deliver, in line with guidance, a similar profit to last year."

Berkeley, which focuses on London and South East England, said market basics were strong with low interest rates and a shortage of homes in its main markets. Sales reservations and enquiries have been solid but the value of reservations for the current year will be down about 20% after Berkeley delayed the launch of new developments into the market until the economy opens up.

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