- House builder Taylor Wimpey reported a 3.1% rise in annual profit after it completed more homes, though its underlying performance was hurt by higher building costs.

Pre-tax profit for the year through December increased to £835.9m, up from £810.7m on-year.

Revenue rose 6.4% to £4.34bn, as housing completions climbed 5% to 16,042.

Pre-tax profit before exceptional items, however, fell 4.1% to £821.6m as a combination of the higher building costs and flat house prices shrunk operating margins to 19.6%, back from 21.6%.

As previously announced, Taylor Wimpey said it would pay dividends for the year of around £610m, or 18.6p per share.

'The group delivered a good performance in 2019, with a record sales rate and home completions increasing by 5%,' chief executive Pete Redfern said.

'The new year has started well, with a good level of customer demand and a clearer political outlook.'

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