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Bovis Reports Higher Profit Margin as Homebuilder’s Sales Rise

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July 9 (Bloomberg) -- Bovis Homes Group Plc, the U.K.’s second-smallest publicly traded homebuilder by market value, said first-half home sales increased 18 percent and its margin widened as the company sold more expensive properties.

Bovis delivered 944 homes in the six months through June compared with 801 a year earlier, the Longfield, England-based company said in a statement today. The average selling price rose 1 percent to 164,400 pounds ($254,600) after Bovis focused on houses rather than apartments.

“The group has performed strongly, in line with expectations, in the first half of 2012 with a significant improvement in profit delivered from the ongoing successful execution of the group’s growth strategy,” Chief Executive Officer David Ritchie said in the statement.

U.K. homebuilders have boosted revenue and share prices amid curbed mortgage lending and property values that have been little changed after favoring margin growth over volume. British house prices rose for a second month in June, according to Halifax, a mortgage unit of Lloyds Banking Group Plc.

The gross margin for Bovis’s homes rose to about 21 percent in the first half from 20.1 percent a year earlier, according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Spillane in London at cspillane3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net