- St. Modwen Properties said its expectations for the year remained unchanged following a 'good' start to 2018 characterised by higher home sales.

In the homebuiding market, sales volumes for St. Modwen Homes increased 31% versus the same period last year to 302 units sold.

The business was now sales active in 19 outlets, with an additional three outlets coming forward in the second half of the year.

In line with the company's target, it continued to expect up to 25% growth in sales volumes for the full year.

Sales activity in its JV with Persimmon, meanwhile, continued to reduce in line with a planned wind-down of the JV over the next two years.

Proceeds from the sale of oven-ready land totalled £27m during the six months, up from £14m on-year, on average at or above book value, leaving the company 'well on track' to achieve residential land sales at least in line with the £56m reported last year.

'Our operational performance remains solid and we have made considerable progress in executing our new, more focused strategy that we launched a year ago,' chief executive Mark Allan said.

'Drawing on the significant potential within our existing pipeline, this successful execution is starting to pave the way towards delivering a meaningful improvement in earnings and return on capital in the years ahead.'

The company said it had continued to shift its portfolio towards assets with stronger growth prospects, having agreed last month to sell its Longbridge Shopping Park and Wembley Central.

The sales meant the company had already achieved about 95% of the lower end of its target to sell £100-150m of retail and small assets during 2018.

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