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Bellway ups dividend after first-half profit rise

LONDON (Reuters) - British housebuilder Bellway (BWY.L) said it would reward shareholders after it posted a 53 percent rise in pretax profit for the six months to end-January, as it increased volumes of new homes to meet demand in a robust property market.

The company reported profit of 158.9 million pounds on revenue up 19 percent to 831.2 million pounds on Wednesday, and said it would increase the payout to investors at the half-year stage by 56 percent to 25 pence a share.

Bellway group said in February it had completed 3,754 new homes in the period, up 15.7 percent on a year earlier.

Analysts expect the company to report pretax profit for the year to end-July of 330 million pounds, against 246 million pounds in 2014.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by James Davey)