A RECOVERING market has boosted business for Bourne-mouth-based retirement dev-eloper McCarthy and Stone, which has recorded a rise in revenue of almost 50 per cent.

The company said growing sales volumes and selling prices had driven an increase in revenue from £100.4million to £149.7million in the six months ending February 28 this year.

Legal completions were up 30 per cent to 659 units and average selling price rose 17 per cent to £205,000.

The company’s net debt had reduced from £431m to £93m after refinancing last August.

Its land bank was up to 8,500 plots with a projected sales value of around £2bn and it had enough planning consents in place to deliver its anticipated sales volumes for the next financial year.

The company won the Five Star award for customer care for the ninth year in a row.

Company chairman John White, said: “We are pleased to report significant improvements across our operations. “We have had a successful first half to the financial year, more than doubling our profits. We are now in a strong position to increase volumes, improve margins, and continue to grow the value of the business. “We are on target to legally complete more than 1,700 units this year.

“We remain focused on leading the retirement housing market, both in terms of unit delivery and build quality, while growing our business profitably. “Our previously announced business review, which is currently being implemented, will ensure that we operate efficiently while providing an increase in much-needed retirement housing across the whole market.”

The company has appointed a new leadership team since September 2013, headed by Mr White, former chairman and chief executive of Persimmon, and CEO executive Clive Fenton, former Barratt Group director and CEO of Mount Avil.

The company said a “new supportive shareholder group” which came aboard after the financing had ensured it was well placed to focus