By Max Clarke

The Berkeley Group housebuilding company have seen profits leap by almost a quarter over the year, buoyed by strong housebuilding demand in London resulting in a 25.5% jump in sales.

The Berkeley Group plc (LSE: BKG), have added more than 3,500 plots to the 27,000 already in its portfolio, and during the last fiscal year the group secured planning permission to a further 29 development sites, predominately across London.

The Group also made significant investments in sustainability, receiving recognition from NextGeneration index, and greener building methods will continue form company strategies in the coming financial year.

The Group’s Managing Director, Rob Perrins, comments as follows on the full year results:

"I am pleased to report that Berkeley has performed strongly during the year, exceeding the targets set for both return on equity and land bank growth. The 20.2% growth in earnings per share reflects the depth of demand for well located property in London and the South East where supply is constrained and Berkeley has the land and expertise to deliver quality homes and places. In addition, Berkeley has acquired some 3,600 plots across 24 sites in excellent locations during the year, and has increased the number of active sites in line with our strategy to invest at this point in the cycle.

”The increase in forward sales of 25.5%, land bank growth of 13.1% and our planning successes contribute to an improvement in operational visibility. This provides us with confidence that Berkeley can maintain the rate of earnings growth in the current year and increase the value of the land bank over the next two years, through a combination of optimisation and land acquisition, before commencing the return in cash to shareholders envisaged in the long term plan."

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