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Housebuilder Berkeley flags delays following Brexit, sticks to targets

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(Reuters) - British housebuilder Berkeley Group said on Friday it was facing some delays in procuring materials after the end of the Brexit transition period, while sticking to its annual profit forecast.

Shares of the London-focused developer fell 4.7% to the bottom of the FTSE 100 as it also estimated a 20% drop in the value of reservations for the full year.

Berkeley, one of the country's largest housebuilders by market value, said its operating environment had remained volatile during repeated lockdowns and the ending of the Brexit transition period in January.

The company experienced some delays in procuring materials and price increases following the end of the transition phase, but said the overall impact on build costs had been neutral.

Berkeley forecast forward sales to be above 1.7 billion pounds ($2.37 billion) at the year-end thanks to pent-up demand and government tax breaks to boost home buying during the pandemic.

It promised to return 280 million pounds to its shareholders and said it expected annual pre-tax profit to be at the same levels as last year and in line with its prior guidance of 500 million pounds.

(This story corrects syntax in paragraph 1)

(Reporting by Indranil Sarkar and Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)