LONDON, Feb 24 (Reuters) - British housebuilder Bovis Homes posted a 48 percent rise in full year profits on Monday, at the upper end of analyst expectations, and said it was aiming to complete up to 3,600 homes this year.
Bovis said pretax profit for the year to the end of December was 78.8 million pounds ($131.49 million), up from 53.2 million pounds a year ago, on revenues of 556 million pounds. Its operating profit margin was 14.9 percent, up from 13.3 percent in 2012.
Analysts had forecast full year pretax profits of 74 to 79.6 million pounds on revenues of 516 to 566 million pounds, Thomson Reuters data showed.
Britain's housebuilders have enjoyed a strong return in buyer demand over the past year due to a government move to help aspiring homeowners, which has stoked demand for newly built homes and wider market sentiment.
Bovis, which completed 2,813 homes in 2013, said it was aiming to deliver between 3,400-3,600 legal completions in 2014
It also said it aimed to increase the group's operating margin to 17 percent, with return on capital employed to rise to at least 14 percent in 2014.
Bovis said it had achieved 468 private reservations in the first seven weeks of 2014, 64 percent more than last year, and that sales prices achieved to date were 2 percent higher than its own expectations.
Shares in Bovis, which are up 36 percent over the past one year, closed at 900 pence on Friday, valuing the company at 1.21 billion pounds.