With the average selling price flat due to product mix and completions only up 4% to 1,580, the profit growth was down to changes implemented across the business since the arrival of former Galliford Try boss Greg Fitzgerald as chief executive in April 2017.
Build quality has improved, the company says, and so has the balance sheet. After operating with an average net debt of £96m last year, Bovis is now running with average net cash position of £6m.
Bovis made a pre-tax profit of £60.2m in the six months to 30th June 2018, up 41% from £42.7m in the same period last year. However, the 2017 result included £3.5m spent on sorting out customer care problems caused by botched building work and £2.8m on employing city bankers to fend off takeover bids. There have been no such drags on profitability this time. Group revenue was broadly flat at £432.2m (2017 H1: £427.8m).
Chief executive Greg Fitzgerald said: "We delivered a strong performance in the half with a more than 40% increase in profits. This reflects the excellent progress made across all business areas over the past 18 months and a step change in the quality of the homes we are building and level of service we are providing our customers. We are confident in the outlook for the business and are targeting a record year of profits in 2018, at the top end of the board's expectations.”