Compared to its peers, Galiford Try, the Uxbridge-based FTSE250 national contractor and housebuilder, has increased its housing completions and sales, saying that mortgage availablity has improved, while others have simply maintained volume and focussed on margin improvements. In its H1 trading update today Galliford have done both, raising average selling prices by 13% to £203k on its combined private and affordable housing sales, while the total sales reserved, contracted and completed at £522 million is a 42% increase. (2010: £367 million).  

CEO Greg Fitzgerald, said:

"The board has been encouraged by the progress in housebuilding as our southern biased business performed strongly despite the general economic uncertainty.  The spread of long term work in the Group's construction business is underpinning its resilience in challenging market conditions.  The Group therefore remains on track to meet its expectations for the financial year."

Galliford has, like its peers, been active in the land market, with 900 more plots than at the end of 2010 and 2100 in the pipeline. This has increased net debt from £30 million to £70 million.

As well as housebuilding, which gives the best margin, the construction side of the business has a greater volume and this year the total order book at the year end was £1.6 billion (2010: £1.75 billion), of which 41% is in the regulated sector, 45% in the public sector and 14% in the private sector.

Shares in Galliford Try closed last night at 467.4p valuing the firm at £382 million.