- House builder Bellway resumed dividend payments, albeit at a 50% reduction, after reporting a slump in annual profit and revenue in the wake of virus-led disruptions to construction activity.

The company declared a final dividend of 50p per share, down from 100p year-on-year.

For the year ended 31 July, pre-tax profit fell 64.3% to £236.7 million and revenue slipped 30.7% to £2.2 billion.

Financial performance in the year was 'significantly' affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the company said, with completions down 30.9% to 7,522.

The average selling price of completions rose to £293,054, up from £291,968.

Looking ahead, Bellway said productivity levels were 'improving and are currently between 85% and 90% of those achieved in the year ended 31 July 2019.'

The forward order book stood at record as at 4 October with a value of £1.87 billion, up from £1.31 billion year-on-year.

'Aside from the risk of a further, widespread national 'lockdown', this should help the group complete the sale of around 9,000 homes at an expected average selling price of around £290,000 for the year ending 31 July 2021,' it added.

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