Galliford Try to beat expectations in first half

Galliford Try, the housebuilding and construction group, seemed to ignore the doom and gloom shrouding the construction industry, saying it would beat profit expectations in its first half.

Galliford Try, the housebuilding and construction group, seemed to ignore the doom and gloom shrouding the construction industry, saying it would beat profit expectations in its first half.

The firm also said it was on track to meet full year expectations.

In the first half, housebuilding revenue is expected to be up on last year after the company built a record number of homes while seeing an increase in the average selling price of its properties.

Galliford reported a 4% increase in total sales reserved, contracted and completed at £544m, but flat unit sales per outlet per week at 0.46.

It added that its operating margin was expected to be up on full year with a continued industry-leading return on capital.

In its construction division the firm said 99% of projected revenue for current financial year had been secured, as well as 62% for year to June 30th 2014.

It's order book was unchanged on the previous year at £1.6bn, in line with expectations.

Of this, 40% was in the regulated sector, 42% in public and 18% in the private sector.

Greg Fitzgerald, Chief Executive, said: "We are encouraged by the performance of both housebuilding and construction in the first half of the financial year with profits ahead of board expectations".

"Housebuilding continues to deliver good results in a stable market with construction performing well against a backdrop of a difficult market," he added.

The positive results come at a very difficult time for the construction sector.

Activity in the construction industry contracted at the fastest rate for six months in December as it was hit by lack of demand and bad weather.

The decline was driven by a particularly weak month for residential house building.

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