Berkeley to redistribute

The Berkeley Group is to return £1.4bn to its shareholders as part of a plan to turn itself into an urban regeneration company, it was announced today.

Berkeley expects the strategic review to enable the group to make enhanced returns from the development of complex inner city projects, which are not as vulnerable to uncertain market conditions as residential developments.

The company share price rose 27% to 246p in response to the announcement. Berkeley will redistribute capital to shareholders over the next six years.

Roger Lewis, Chairman, commented: 'The board considered a number of strategic options for change, including continuing to grow the business, but these were not considered as routes to maximise shareholder value.'

The announcement comes as Berkeley posted a 4.1% increase in pre-tax profits to £230.2m in its end-of-year results published earlier today. Net asset value rose 14.1% to 946p a share and the total share dividend also climbed 16.1% to 22.3p.

Berkeley is currently working on a joint venture with Greenwich Council and the London Development Agency on a 24.7-acre development on the Royal Arsenal site in Woolwich.
Source: Freeman News

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