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Vistry lifts 2021 profit outlook on strong home demand

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(Reuters) -Homebuilder Vistry Group on Monday raised its annual profit forecast on strong demand, as the housing sector benefits from an extension of a property tax holiday and lower interest rates.

In March, UK Finance Minister Rishi Sunak extended tax breaks for home buyers until October and unveiled a mortgage guarantee scheme in the budget.

Vistry, which builds houses for both private customers and registered social landlords, said its housebuilding arm was on track to complete 6,500 units in fiscal 2021, significantly higher than 4,652 units in 2020.

"We anticipate that our half-year performance will be significantly ahead of our previous expectations in terms

of profit and cash," the company said in a statement.

It also said the Vistry Partnerships unit was progressing well towards fiscal 2022 revenue targets of 1 billion pounds.

The FTSE Mid Cap firm said it expects adjusted profit before tax for financial year 2021 to be about 325 million pounds ($458.06 million), up from a prior forecast of 310 million pounds.

A measure of British house price inflation hit its highest level since the late 1980s in April as buyers raced to take advantage of the extended tax break just as sellers retreated from the market.

($1 = 0.7095 pounds)

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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