Shares in Berkeley Group Holdings were up on the FTSE 250 despite the property company reporting a drop in pre-tax profit of over eight per cent in the full year ended 30 April.

Revenue in the full year dropped 12.4 per cent to £615.3 million while operating profit declined by 14.9 per cent to £106.2 million.

Pre-tax profit dropped by 8.4 per cent in the full year to £110.3 million while profit after tax fell 7.7 per cent to £79.5 million.

During the year Berkeley said it had bought back 1.7 million shares at the cost of £25.4 million.

Nevertheless net cash at the end of the year was £316.9 million, up from £284.8 million in the previous year. However the group's number of land bank plots was down from over 30,000 to just above 28,000.

Tony Pidgley, Chairman of Berkeley Group, said, "2009/10 has been a year of change in a number ways. The housing market in London and the South East has stabilised, albeit at transaction levels lower than we had become used to prior to the turbulent market of the previous two years. The land market has begun to yield some attractive opportunities again and, over the course of the year, a growing sense developed that the worst is over with a return to GDP growth.

"Most recently of course we have had a change of Government and, quite understandably, this has given cause for reflection as people look to understand the impact of the spending reviews and policies to be implemented by the new Coalition administration. Such reviews and changes in policy are inevitable and necessary. Most important is that hard work and innovation are rewarded and growth is encouraged. In our own industry, this means a continued and concerted commitment from the private and public sector to work together to address the shortage in supply of quality housing and I look forward to Berkeley being at the forefront of this partnership. A vibrant housing market has so many knock-on effects on the wider economy, employment and addressing social issues.

"Berkeley's strategy is to maximise shareholder value in a sustainable and safe way over the long-term. At present, the Board believes that greatest value will be achieved through land acquisition, investing in work in progress and opportunistic share purchases, as opposed to declaring a dividend. This dividend policy will, however, be reviewed at the end of each reporting period."

By 09:49 shares in Berkeley were up 0.81 per cent on the FTSE 250 to 806.50 pence per share.