Bovis boosts sales outlets number


Housebuilder Bovis Homes has said it expects to sell a greater number of new homes in 2011 off the back of an expansion in sales outlets.

The Kent-based group said while there was uncertainty around house prices, it still expected volumes and prices to be supported by fundamental supply and demand factors in the year ahead.

Bovis said it hoped to boost its average number of sales outlets by 15% to 76 by next year, which it said will help grow volumes year-on-year.

In its third quarter update, Bovis recorded 1,900 homes reserved for 2010 legal completion, at an average sales price of £160,000. Prices were up on £154,600 last year, and ahead of City expectations.

Bovis said it would be able to boost sales outlets after a drive to acquire land with planning consent saw it add 1,381 plots since July 1, most of which were in the south of England.

In the year to date, the group has acquired 3,255 plots at a cost of £182 million, and despite this still has £14 million of net cash.

Chris Millington, an analyst with brokers Numis Securities, said the group had performed well against a difficult backdrop.

Mr Millington said: “Despite the uncertain trading backdrop, Bovis anticipates trading off 15% more outlets in 2011, which should support rising volumes and margins.”

He said the statement was a “good update” and Bovis was making “strong progress” in improving its asset turnover by increasing its number of sales outlets.

Bovis returned to profit with a £3.5 million surplus for the six months to June 30, with the number of private home sales up by 3%.