British builder Bellway expects higher prices and sales in 2018

A Bellway sign is seen at a housing construction site in London, Britain, February 5, 2017. Picture taken February 5, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

(Reuters) - British housebuilder Bellway BWY.L said it expects rising sales and higher prices in 2018 after reporting a 12.6 percent jump in full-year profit.

Bellway, which also raised its proposed total dividend to 122 pence per share, said its order book stood at 1.36 billion pounds ($1.80 billion) as of Oct. 1, an increase of 17.4 percent.

“The pricing environment remained positive, with modest low, single-digit house price inflation benefiting the average selling price on most sites across the country,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Bellway said it expects the overall average selling price to rise to around 280,000 pounds in the current financial year. The average selling price in 2017 was 260,354 pounds.

The company said it also expects the number of houses it sells to rise 5 percent this year. Bellway said it completed a record number of 9,644 homes in the year ended July 31, 10.6 percent higher than in 2016.

Full-year profit before tax rose to 560.7 million pounds, up from 497.9 million pounds a year earlier.

($1 = 0.7547 pounds)

Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Louise Heavens