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Taylor Wimpey raises profit view as UK housing demand stays strong By Reuters 

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Taylor Wimpey closed building site, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in St Albans, Britain, March 24, 2020. REUTERS/Paul Childs/File Photo

(Reuters) -UK homebuilder Taylor Wimpey (LON:) Plc on Wednesday raised its full-year earnings outlook, joining bigger rivals in projecting sustained demand, as Britain’s housing boom stands to outlast the tax holiday period.

Cheap loans and a pandemic-driven preference for larger houses from buyers who saved up during lockdowns have also helped homebuilders forecast a brighter outlook and driven up prices, although a survey last month pointed to a cooling in market activity.

Britain’s third-largest homebuilder forecast 2021 operating profit of about 820 million pounds ($1.14 billion), above the top end of a company-compiled consensus range of 756 million-808 million pounds.

“Our focus remains on driving further improvement in our operating profit margin and accelerated outlet-driven volume growth from 2023,” said Chief Executive Peter Redfern.

The High Wycombe-based firm, which also has a small presence in Spain, said its first-half UK order book representing 10,344 homes stood at 2.61 billion pounds, below 2.90 billion pounds for 11,686 homes a year earlier.

Pre-tax profit for the six months ended July 4 came in at 287.5 million pounds, compared to a loss of 39.8 million pounds in the pandemic-hit period a year earlier.

The firm, which has been more active than its peers in the land market over the past year, said half-year revenue almost tripled to 2.20 billion pounds and announced an interim dividend of 4.14 pence per share.

Leading British homebuilders Barratt Developments (LON:) and Persimmon (LON:) last month forecast robust housing demand even after a tax holiday on property purchases ends in September.

($1 = 0.7182 pounds)

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