For the six months to 31 October, Berkeley reported revenues of £404.9m (H1 2010: £336.2m) and pre-tax profit of £101.1m (H1 2010: £61.6m).
Profits were boosted by the sale of Berkeley's 51% shareholding in a post-graduate accommodation scheme for Imperial College at Clapham Junction in September, resulting in an exceptional profit of £30.7m. But even before this exceptional item, operating profit was up nearly 18% to £76.4m.
Managing director Rob Perrins said that Berkeley was on course to deliver its target to double its 2010 earnings by 2013. He said: “This operating performance has been achieved by an increase in volume of new homes, an improvement in gross margin by 1.0% to 28.8%, largely the result of changes in mix, and the control of operating costs, resulting in an increase in the pre-exceptional operating margin of 1.5% to 18.9%.”
Mr Perrins said that demand for prime residential property in good central London locations remained strong.
Berkeley chairman Tony Pidgley has strengthened his board by bringing in John Armitt, the former Costain and Network Rail boss who is currently chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority. Mr Armitt becomes senior independent director before taking over as deputy chairman at the next AGM. Also joining the board is former newspaper editor Veronica Wadley.