Autumn Statement 2016: House building
Galliford Try said it was confident of meeting its annual targets in 2017. Neil Hall/ Reuters

Housebuilding group Galliford Try said on Tuesday (21 February) that it will stick by its progressive dividend policy by increasing the return to shareholders by almost a quarter, after first half revenue and profits both increased.

In the six months to 31 December, the FTSE 250-listed company saw revenue grow 3% year-on-year to £1.30bn ($1.6bn), while at £63m, pre-tax profits were 19% higher than in the corresponding period in the year before.

Earnings per share also increased by 19% year-on-year, climbing to 61.9p, while the company lifted its interim dividend by 23% to 32p.

Group chief executive Peter Truscott said demand and pricing had remained solid in residential markets across all its divisions, which resulted in good rates of sale, while the land market remained in good health across the company's regions.

"Linden Homes continues to achieve margin improvement, including much improved overhead efficiency," he explained.

"Partnerships achieved a higher proportion of mixed tenure development revenue, resulting also in first-half margin growth. Construction is making steady progress in resolving legacy contracts, and the contribution from newer work is encouraging, demonstrating that the underlying business is strong."

Galliford Try added its return on net assets grew from 23.1% to 24.9% in the period, while net debt rose from £95.7m to £113.8m, indicating it remained confident over its future performances.

"Over the remainder of full year 2017, we expect the business to deliver revenue growth as we benefit from our geographic expansion and further margin improvement from a higher proportion of mixed-tenure revenue," Truscott added.

"Our full-year growth expectations remain unchanged."