In it's interim results today for H1 2010-11, Bellway Plc, the national housebuilder, followed it's peers in reporting pre-tax profits up 26.3% to £24 million, having increased it's average selling prices by 8.1% to £168,428. The firm legally completed 2332 homes, up 4% on the previous year.

Like it's peers Bellway has also been active in the land market, borrowing from it's bank to do so, and spending £130 million to increase it's landbank by around 1000 plots over last year, with an emphasis on plots for 2 storey family homes, which are most in demand. Notable purchases in the six month period include the former training ground of Everton Football Club, a redundant cinema just off Fulham Broadway and a former car assembly factory in Coventry.

Bellway has just £100 million of debt on it's balance sheet, with net assets of over £1 billion. An interim dividend up 12% to 3.7p was declared.

Chairman Howard Dawe said:
 "Last week's budget announcements regarding our industry are to be welcomed" and "our appetite for land purchase continues."  He also observed that,  "visitors and reservations have returned to the pattern of a traditional spring market" but "consumer confidence remains fragile" however "Bellway is……currently well positioned to deliver increasing returns."

Shares in Bellway closed last night at 682p valuing the business at £824 million, they opened sharply higher this morning at 730p.