- Home builder Vistry upgraded its annual earnings guidance amid a rise in sales rates and home completions.

Adjusted pre-tax profit for the year through December was now expected to be around £325 million, up from previous guidance of at least £310 million.

Vistry said the upgraded reflected strong trading in the first half and increased expectations for annual home completions.

In the year to date, the company's average weekly private sales rate had risen to 0.75, up from 0.44 year-on-year and 0.62 in the same part of 2019.

Home completions were expected to jump to around 6,500 units, up from 4,652 year-on-year and ahead of previous expectations, with an improvement in gross margin.

Vistry said it aimed to operate a progressive dividend policy that allowed it to move towards a 1.75 times dividend cover 'over time'.

'The group continues to see strong demand across all areas of the business,' the company said.

'Our sites are operating well, and we are seeing the strategic benefits of the enlarged Group coming through.'

'We anticipate that our half-year performance will be significantly ahead of our previous expectations in terms of profit and cash.'

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