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UPDATE 1-Taylor Wimpey year profit doubles

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

LONDON, Mar 1 (Reuters) - British housebuilder Taylor Wimpey beat forecasts with a 106 percent rise in 2012 profit and said it was cautiously optimistic about the housing market.

Britain's second-largest builder by market value said pretax profit for the year to the end of December rose to 185.3 million pounds ($281.28 million), up from 89.9 million pounds in 2011. Revenue increased 11.7 percent to 2.02 billion pounds.

Analysts expected Taylor Wimpey to post a 93 percent increase in pretax profit to 173.61 million pounds, Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data showed.

"During 2012, we've continued our consistent approach and focus on margin and returns, delivering a significant increase in profits. These results show the benefit of our short term land and strategic land asset choices," Chief Executive Pete Redfern said.

"We believe that mortgage availability will remain the key constraint on the market, although we have seen improvement over the last few months and hope that this will continue. This combined with a tentative improvement in consumer confidence, gives us grounds for cautious optimism in the short term."

The company said it completed 10,886 homes at an average selling price of 181,000 pounds, compared to 10,180 homes at 171,000 pounds in 2011. The value of its order book at the end of 2012 was 14 percent higher at 948 million pounds.

Taylor Wimpey and its rivals have defied sluggish housing market growth in Britain over the past year. They bought land cheaply during the financial crisis and have built in the south of England where house prices have stayed strong.

Its strong performance comes after Persimmon and Bovis Homes posted double digit growth in profits on Monday and Barratt Developments reported its best start to the year since 2007.

Taylor Wimpey proposed a final dividend of 0.43 pence, up from 0.38 pence in 2011.

The firm's shares closed at 81.1 pence on Thursday valuing the company at 2.62 billion pounds.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130301/update-1-taylor-wimpey-year-profit-doubles