The bumper profit increase from £812.4 million to £934.9 million was served up alongside a warning that profitability had peaked and would be heading lower by 30% from the current financial year.
Markets focused on the profit warning rather than the profit performance and the Berkeley Group share price was 1.95% lower in early trading today, down 76p at £38.17.
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Earnings per share rose 94.9p, or 20.3%, from 467.8p to 562.7p, but total dividends paid fell by £107.9 million from £254.6 million to £146.7 million. There was an increase in share buy-backs to bolster investor returns, a £96 million rise from £44.4 million in the previous financial year to £140.4 million.
But this was insufficient to prevent an 11.9% decline in total shareholder returns from £299 million to £287.1 million.
During the year, Berkeley delivered 3,536 homes, including more than 10% of new private and affordable homes in London, it provided subsidies of £420 million for affordable housing “and wider community and infrastructure benefits”.