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Sun January 26 2020

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Berkeley looks offsite as profits return to 'normal'

6 Dec 19 Berkeley Group is planning to start production at its new house-building factory in north Kent in 2020.

Berkeley Group chief executive Rob Perrins
Berkeley Group chief executive Rob Perrins

Chairman Tony Pidgley said that Berkeley’s volumetric modular construction facility in Ebbsfleet would be “an exemplar of innovation in construction, helping address a number of challenges within our industry's supply chain around quality and skills”.

He said that the machinery was due to be commissioned throughout 2020 when the first modules would be delivered to sites.  Berkeley has employed more than 30 staff for the factory operations, with 10 apprentices being trained to operate the machinery.

Berkeley’s move towards modular construction comes as the company’s financial performance returns to what the board calls ‘normal levels’.

Berkeley Group has today posted half-year results showing merely huge profits, rather than its previous gargantuan ones of recent years.

For the six months ended 31 October 2019, Berkeley Group Holdings made a pre-tax profit of £276.7m on revenue of £930.9m.

While these numbers were down 31% and 44% respectively on last year, the board said this represent a return to normal levels.

During the half-year, Berkeley Group sold 1,389 new homes, compared to 2,027 in the same period of 2018, at an average selling price of £644,000 (2018: £740,000).

Chief executive Rob Perrins said:  “The reduction in profit before tax of 31.0% on the equivalent period last year was anticipated and reflects the completion of a number of Central London developments acquired in the period from 2009 to 2013.”

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