MJ Gleeson's homes sales soar

MJ Gleeson Group on Friday reported a 65 per cent increase in sales of homes in the UK during the last half of 2012 despite a tough housing market.

MJ Gleeson Group on Friday reported a 65 per cent increase in sales of homes in the UK during the last half of 2012 despite a tough housing market.

In a trading update ahead of its half year results ended December 31st, the company said its unit Gleeson Homes made £33.2m in the sales of reserved, contracted and completed homes.

It sold 164 private development homes during the period, an increase of 53% compared with the previous year's total of 107.

With the inclusion of units sold to Housing Associations, sales for the period totalled 165 homes, compared to 130 in 2011.

The UK Government's FirstBuy scheme, which provides support to first-time buyers by way of a 20% equity loan, helped boost business.

Gleeson recently secured an additional £2.0m in funding from the scheme, which will assist about 170 first time buyers.

Another factor driving sales was demand for green field residential land in the South of England from the major housebuilders.

During the period its division Gleeson Strategic Land sold three sites, with a combined acreage of 13 acres.

Planning permission was also achieved on a 133-unit site at Grove, Oxfordshire and an 18-unit site at Hunston, West Sussex. The sites will be marketed for sale in 2013.

Jolyon Harrison, Chief Executive, said: "The performance in the first half of the financial year of both Gleeson Homes and Gleeson Strategic Land is encouraging, with profits expected to be significantly ahead of last year.

"The housing market remains challenging. The group, however, remains on track to deliver a strong and sustained improvement in its performance."

Shares rose 5.16% to 183.25p at 9:14 Friday.

RD

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