Toll Brothers profit rises 46 percent

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 | Finance News

(Reuters) - Toll Brothers Inc posted a 46 percent rise in quarterly profit as the largest U.S. luxury homebuilder sold more homes at higher prices, indicating that the housing recovery is spreading across the industry.

Record-low interest rates and rising rents have encouraged people to buy homes. Ground-breaking to build new homes in the United States rose 7 percent in March to the highest level since June 2008.

Toll said its quarterly orders were the highest in seven years. New orders, a key indicator for builders who do not recognize revenue until they close on a home, rose 36 percent to 1,753 homes.

The value of the orders jumped 57 percent to $1.19 billion.

"Buyers who have been on the sidelines for six years are jumping in," Chief Executive Douglas Yearley said in a statement.

Toll Brothers, which targets high earners, said its average selling price increased 3.6 percent in the second quarter to $577,000 per home compared with a year earlier.

Net income rose to $24.7 million, or 14 cents per share, from $16.9 million, or 10 cents per share, a year earlier. The profit included a pretax gain of $13.2 million.

Revenue rose 38 percent to $516 million.

Toll's shares, which have gained about 11 percent so far this year, closed at $36.01 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Mridhula Raghavan and Bijoy Koyitty in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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