- Bovis Homes reported a 'strong' performance year-to-date as homebuilder saw an uptick in its sales rate underpinned by 'good' levels of demand for new homes.

In the year to date, average private sales rate per site per week rose to 0.61 from 0.52, a 17% increase on the prior year, the company said.

The homebuilder opened seven new developments in the year to date and operated from an average of 87 active sites.  It expected open a further 16 new sites this year, aiming for average active sites to be at a similar level this year, to the prior year's 87.

The company's efforts to control cost control continued offsetting the impact of limited sales price inflation and a rise in build costs at a rate of between 3 to 4%.

The company said it continued to have 'excellent visibility on land with 98% of our land for our 2020 completions secured and 68% secured for 2021 (excluding strategic land contributions). '

The total dividend for 2018 was raised to 57.0p per share from 47.5p per share a year earlier, and when the special dividend of 45p per share paid in November last year, was included, the dividends paid in the 12 months total 102p per share, the company said.

'The current market fundamentals remain strong and we continue to see good levels of demand for new homes across all of our operating regions.  We have a strong forward sales position and are confident of delivering completions in line with our expectations for the year,' Bovis Homes said.

'The Group set out its medium term targets to be achieved by 2020 to return Bovis Homes to being a leading UK housebuilder and significantly improving returns to our shareholders.'

'We continue to make good progress against these targets with several already achieved.  We expect to make further progress on the Group's operational and financial performance in the current year.'

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