Berkeley backs Remain campaign amid sliding sales – jp

The firm revealed that reservations fell 20 per cent in the five months to May, as it reported its preliminary results for the 12 months to 30 April 2016.

Sales were down 4 per cent for the year as a whole, while Berkeley raised £51m of profit by selling its ground rent portfolio.

Reduced ground rent sales led to a 1.6 per cent fall in profit before tax, from £539.7m to 530.9m. Excluding ground rents, adjusted pre-tax profit was up by 5.6 per cent to £479.9m.

Forward sales increased to 3.25bn from 2.95bn a year earlier.

Chairman Tony Pidgley said: “The outcome of next week’s referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union is significant for the UK’s housebuilding and property sector.

“Berkeley supports a vote to remain in the EU. London’s status as the world’s best big city is underpinned by labour mobility, cultural diversity and a constant influx of talent and investment from around the world, and the UK economy in turn is powered by the success of our capital city.

“However, London will always be a world city and a highly desirable place to live, work and play.

“For Berkeley, our brand, our land holdings and our forward sales will continue to differentiate and underpin our performance over the long term and, while we have a clear view about what the better outcome would be on Thursday 23 June, we are confident about the future for our business.”

The group is also encouraged by London mayor Sadiq Khan’s “ambitious and pragmatic” approach to housing policy, Mr Pidgley added.

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