In another clear signal of string recovery in the housing market, Berkeley saw its pre-tax profits rise 19.2% to £169.5m for the six months to 31 October 2013, up from £142.2m for the same period last year.
Revenue was up 19.7% to £821.0m, up from £686.0m last year.
The residential revenue of £815.3m (2012: £657.8m) resulted from the sale of 2,294 new homes in the period (2012: 1,927) at an average selling price of £350,000 (2012: £335,000) on private, affordable and student schemes across London and the southeast. It includes the disposal of 534 properties from Berkeley's rental fund to M&G Investments.
Revenue of £5.7m from commercial activities (2012: £23.0m) included 22,000 sqft of mainly retail space on various mixed-use developments, including Marine Wharf in Deptford and Goodmans Fields in Aldgate.
84% of Berkeley's sites are in construction and the remainder are in the planning process. Planning consents so far this year include an enhanced consent on a Grade II listed former convent in Mill Hill in London, a new consent on a housing scheme in Finchley and one on a housing scheme in West Sussex.
Chairman Tony Pidgley said: “The long-term challenge for the country is to deal with the significant housing shortfall which continues to grow. Over the last five years Berkeley has doubled the size of its business, investing over £1.5bn into land and over £2.5bn into build, sustaining 16,000 direct and indirect jobs each year and building over 15,000 homes of every tenure in vibrant new places. The group is now delivering more new homes than immediately prior to the financial crisis in 2008 and is building on every one of its sites which has a viable planning consent and vacant possession.”
He added: “Berkeley has the capacity to invest further, which would create more homes and jobs, but is concerned by the increased uncertainty created by the ongoing debates surrounding the future of property taxation and international buyers.”