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UPDATE 1-Galliford Try upgrades profit forecast on housing boost
May 14, 2014 / 6:49 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Galliford Try upgrades profit forecast on housing boost

(Adds detail, background)

LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) - Construction and housebuilding firm Galliford Try said it was on track to beat profit forecasts for its financial year, helped by gains in British house prices in a strengthening market.

Galliford, updating on the four and a half months since January, said on Wednesday it expects to report profits not less than 92 million pounds ($155 million) for the 12 months to the end of June, higher than a current analyst consensus forecast of 89.7 million pounds.

British housebuilders have enjoyed strong sales and sharp rises in their share prices over the past year after government schemes to support cash-strapped buyers shored up demand for their homes and triggered a wider recovery in sentiment.

Larger rival Taylor Wimpey on Tuesday increased its profitability targets citing the strong British housing market.

Galliford said a record 1 billion pounds worth of house sales were reserved, contracted or completed in the period from January 1 to May 13.

Its construction business was also performing well, growing its order book to 1.3 billion pounds from 1.25 billion, and seeing more opportunities.

The company did however caution that growth was limited by supply issues.

“All of our businesses, in common with the industry, continue to experience challenging production conditions, with supply of both labour and materials constrained by strong demand; however these conditions are stabilising and we continue to manage them proactively,” it said in the statement.

Shares in Galliford, which have gained 26 percent over the last twelve months, closed at 1,183 pence, valuing the FTSE 250 firm at 976 million pounds.

$1 = 0.5939 British Pounds Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Neil Maidment and Paul Sandle

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