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Bovis Leads Homebuilders Higher on Dividend Gain: London Mover

Aug. 20 (Bloomberg) -- The Bloomberg EMEA Homebuilders Index climbed to the highest in four years, led by Bovis Homes Group Plc. The U.K. homebuilder doubled its dividend and said profits would rise further in the second half, even as a report showed asking prices for homes fell in August.

The index gained as much as 0.9 percent to 134.4, the highest since September 2008. Bovis has added about 15 percent this year, the smallest increase among the seven companies in the index, which is up 35 percent. Bovis advanced as much as 3.7 percent to 511 pence today, the highest since March 27.

Net income doubled to 11.9 million pounds ($15 million) in the first half on higher revenue and improved margins, the Longfield, England-based company said in a statement today. Second-half profit will increase “significantly,” assuming market conditions are stable, Bovis Chief Executive Officer David Ritchie said in the statement.

U.K. home sellers cut asking prices by a record in August after the London Olympic Games and an uncertain economic outlook distracted potential buyers, Rightmove Plc said today. Average asking prices in England and Wales fell 2.4 percent to 236,260 pounds from July, when values declined 1.7 percent, the operator of Britain’s biggest property website said.

Bovis reported an average sales price of 164,400 pounds for the first half, up from 163,400 pounds a year earlier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff St.Onge in London at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at; David Risser at

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