Shares in Bovis Homes were down on the FTSE 250 in morning trading despite the housebuilder announcing that it would be resuming dividend payments after a strong half year period.
The group said that in the six months to 30 June it had had a "solid half year in terms of legal completion volumes and trading result". The period also saw Bovis acquire another 1,900 plots of land, with another 2,500 in the pipeline.
At the end of the half year period Bovis said it had net cash of £79 million before adding that it had the "intention to resume dividends".
Bovis said that the new homes market was still "subdued with ongoing liquidity issues" but that it was still "delivering solid weekly private sales rates and achieving sales prices ahead of the Group's internal expectations".
In the half year period Bovis legally completed 803 homes, up from 754 homes in the same period in the previous year. The average net sales price of private homes rose from £160,400 in the same period last year to £163,500. Including the higher mix of social homes the average price fell from £159,700 to £158,500.
In an outlook statement Bovis said, "Looking towards the full year, the Group has achieved cumulative sales at 30 June 2010 for 2010 legal completion of 1,474 homes as compared to 1,364 homes at the same point last year. Within these totals, private sales stood at 1,150 homes in 2010 compared to 1,086 homes in 2009, reflecting a 6% increase. In the year to date, the Group has achieved a net private sales rate per site per week of 0.42 reservations, ahead of the comparable net private sales rate achieved in the first half of 2009 of 0.39 reservations. The Group is selling homes in line with its targeted weekly sale rate and a continuation of this will allow the Group to achieve its volume expectations for 2010.
"Given the confidence the Board has in the medium term prospects of the Group arising from its investment in new land opportunities and the Group's strong net cash position, the Board intends to resume dividends at the end of the current financial year, assuming the continuation of current market conditions in the new homes market."
By 09:33 shares in Bovis Homes were down 2.69 per cent to 339.40 pence per share.