Britain’s Most Admired… Construction (home)

Tony Pidgley’s Berkeley Group must have happy shareholders, with another £600m to be returned to them by 2012.

1. Berkeley Group – 65.7
2. Persimmon – 63.3
3. Wilson Bowden – 62.3
4. Bellway – 59.2
5. Bovis Homes – 58.8

Profit is up 10% on last year, with the land bank growing to 30,128 plots, and three new joint ventures formed with Saad Investments. Persimmon, top of our Quality of Management criterion, invested £160m in land in the first half of the year, recording a 10% increase in pre-tax profit. By February, its forward order book included 7,000 advance sales, worth £1.3bn. A confident Persimmon hiked its dividend by 70%. Wilson-Bowden was devoured by Barratt Homes this year, costing £2.13bn and making Barratt the UK’s largest housing group by volume. With the Government declaring a need for more than three million new houses by 2020, this sector has got it made.

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