Irish housebuilder Cairn Homes will pay its first dividend to shareholders next month after announcing strong half-year results on Thursday. Cairn intentds to pay an interim dividend of 2.5 cent per share, after operating profit rose 51 per cent to €27.3 million in the first half of this year.

The Dublin-listed housebuilder said it had reached an "important milestone" after it also announced its intention to buy back up to €25 million worth of shares.

Revenue grew 48 per cent in the period to €192.4 million after the company closed 390 sales at an average selling price of €449,000. Cairn's existing land bank will support delivery of an additional 15,400 homes, it said.

"Cairn has delivered good revenue and profit growth and strong cash generation in H1. Given market demand for our product and delivery pipeline, we look forward to the full year with confidence," chief executive Michael Stanley said.

The company said the sales it has closed so far this year, in addition to its forward sales pipeline, has a value of €446.6 million, up from €378 million this time last year.

Cairn's revenue is weighted toward the second half of the year and the company has increased its guidance to around 1,100 closed sales with an average sales price of between €370,000 and €380,000.

Meanwhile, the company's net debt reduced significantly from €134.4 million to €96.5 million by June 30th.

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on The Irish Times

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