Galliford Try, the Uxbridge-based contractor and housebuilder, today reported that for the last six months of 2011, it's sales increased by 30% to £747 million, which produced an 89% increase in pre-tax profit to £32.2 million from £17 million for the same period in 2010.

This H1 result was driven by a 59% increase in house completions to 1352 units, and a margin of 11% on those sales (up from 6.5% in H1 2010), while the construction side of the business remained steady.

Greg Fitzgerald, Chief Executive, said:

"The Group is confident that it is on track to deliver all the objectives of its three year housebuilding expansion plan during the current financial year with our southern biased business performing strongly despite the general economic uncertainty.  The housing market has remained resilient and we are encouraged by the continued strength of the market during the first seven weeks of 2012.

The spread of long term work in the Group's construction business is underpinning its strength in difficult market conditions.

Following our rapid expansion in housebuilding the Group will continue its disciplined focus on the regions and market segments where we have proven expertise and experience, concentrated on the south of England.  This approach is expected to deliver revenue and profit growth and support an enhanced dividend and a progressive dividend policy going forward."

GT operate with modest net debt of around £70 million, as the borrowings  finance the housebuilding business, where some £580 million of working capital is employed at the end of H1, ( up from £517 million last year).

In view of the splendid progress the board has doubled the interim dividend to 9p per share; shares closed last night at 501p which values the firm at just £410 million.