Firm will report as much cash in the first half of 2019/20 – £975m – as in the whole of last year

Berkeley Group said it will report as much net cash in the first six months of its current financial year, around £975m, as the whole of last year, after reining in its investment plans.

In a trading update delivered at the upmarket housebuilder’s AGM last Friday the group told investors it had brought forward more than 20 large residential schemes in London into development.

But it said it had remained cautious when it came to investing in new opportunities.

Kidbrooke Villlage L&Q Berkeley

“As a consequence [we] anticipate net cash at the half year to be at a similar level to the full-year position of £975m.”

The near-£1bn figure would be subject to the volume of any share buy-backs and investment in new land in the intervening period, the firm added.

Berkeley said the four months to the end of August had seen market conditions in London and the south east remain “robust”.

Pricing had stayed stable, it added, while the firm’s forward sales position remained in excess of £1.8bn.

Berkeley, currently developing the Kidbrooke Village housing scheme in south east London (pictured), said it was working with its supply chain to cut the risks a disruptive Brexit could bring about, “including accelerating the delivery of certain materials and components”.

In June the group announced a 21% dip in annual pre-tax profit for the year to the end of April, stressing the lower figure was part of a normalisation of the listed housebuilder’s financial performance.

At the time it also said it expected pre-tax profit for the current financial year to be 30% lower than 2017/18, as the impact of the investments made at the end of the financial crisis reduced and profits started to normalise.

Berkeley expects to report its annual numbers for 2019/20 next June.