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Bellway Profit Climbs as Homebuilder Sells More Properties

March 26 (Bloomberg) -- Bellway Plc said first-half profit rose 51 percent after the U.K. homebuilder sold more homes at higher prices.

Net income for the six months ended Jan. 31 rose to 46 million pounds ($70 million), or 37.7 pence a share, from 30.4 million pounds, or 25.1 pence, a year earlier, the Newcastle, England-based company said today in a statement. Revenue gained about 10 percent to 502.5 million pounds

U.K. homebuilders are recovering from the housing crash that began in 2007 by developing land bought at discount prices. The British government has put home construction at the center of its strategy to revive the economy. Last week it announced a plan to guarantee 130 billion pounds of new mortgages and pledged to help new-home buyers with loans of as much as 20 percent of the property’s value.

“We do see opportunities in the new government shared-equity scheme,” Finance Director Keith Adey said in a telephone interview. “If the scheme works as we expect, it will free up our balance sheet and allow us to increase volumes.”

Bellway was up 2.9 percent at 1,227 pence at the 4:30 p.m. close in London, giving the company a market value of 1.49 billion pounds. The shares have climbed 34 percent in the past six months, while the Bloomberg EMEA Home Builders Index has risen 37 percent.

Bellway sold 2,597 homes in the first half of its fiscal year, 5.8 percent more than a year earlier, according to the statement. The average selling price increased 2.6 percent to 187,426 pounds.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Gower in London at pgower@bloomberg.net

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

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