February 7, 2018 / 7:41 AM / in 7 months

UPDATE 1-UK builder Redrow's revenue rises, raises dividend

(Adds details on second-half trading, company comments on housing market)

Feb 7 (Reuters) - British housebuilder Redrow Plc on Wednesday reported a 20.4 percent rise in first-half revenue and increased its interim dividend by 50 percent.

The company said revenue rose to 890 million pounds ($1.24 billion) for the six months ended Dec. 31 from 739 million pounds a year ago, helped by more home completions.

“Demand for new homes remains robust with good availability of mortgages at competitive rates,” the company said.

Redrow also said it was encouraged by the government’s commitment to increase the supply of new homes, and added reservations in the first five weeks of the second half had been in line with the strong comparable period last year.

Prime Minister Theresa May wants construction of new homes to rise to 300,000 a year to tackle a housing shortage.

“We entered the second half with a record order book, and customer traffic and sales remain robust,” the company said.

Redrow said it will pay an interim dividend of 9 pence per share, a 50 percent increase on last year’s interim dividend, as a result of the strong earnings and cash performance of the business.

Profit before tax rose 25.7 percent to 176 million pounds in the first half. ($1 = 0.7161 pounds) (Reporting by Radhika Rukmangadhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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