SOUTH-east of England focused Bovis Homes saw a 69% jump in profits after reporting stronger sales, better margins and a higher number of legal completions.

Pre-tax profits grew from £32.1 million to £54.1m on the back of turnover rising from £364.8m to £425.5m in 2012.

The average house price increased from £162,400 to £170,700 and from £180,100 to £188,700 when just counting private home sales.

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Completions across the year were up 15% from 2045 to 2355 with gross profit margin at 22.6%, up from 20.8% Bovis said it made 350 reservations in the first eight weeks of 2013, up 9% on the prior year.

David Ritchie, chief executive, said: "Significant progress has also been made in positioning the group for sustained improvements in future shareholder returns.

"After another year of substantial land investment in 2012, the group expects to deliver a strong increase in active sales outlets in 2013.

"Assuming a continuation of stable market conditions, this will further enhance volumes, sales prices and profit margins."

Bovis increased its dividend 80% from 5p to 9p.