UPDATE 1-Taylor Wimpey sees profit at upper end of expectations
LONDON Jan 14 (Reuters) - British housebuilder Taylor Wimpey said on Monday consumer sentiment towards the housing market was improving and that it expects its 2012 full year profit to be at the upper end of its expectations.
The firm, Britain's second-largest builder by market value, also said group operating profit rose by over 40 percent in 2012 and that its full year operating margin would be ahead of that reported for the first half of 2012 and 2011 full year.
"2012 was another year of significant progress for Taylor Wimpey," said chief executive Pete Redfern in a trading update ahead of the company's full year results on March 1.
"Two weeks into 2013, consumer sentiment towards the housing market is more positive than we have seen in recent times," he said.
The company said average selling prices on private completions increased by 6 percent to 197,000 pounds ($317,700)against a backdrop of broadly flat house prices in the wider UK market since its last trading update on Nov. 12.
It said the value of its order book was up 14 percent at 948 million pounds at the end of December compared to the year before, representing 5,966 homes.
Shares in Taylor Wimpey closed at 74.25 pence last Friday valuing the company at 2.4 billion pounds.
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