U.K. homebuilder Berkeley Group Holdings Plc said it was confident of outperforming its full-year expectations as it reported a 18.5 percent rise in interim pretax profit on higher house sales.

For the half year ended Oct. 31, Berkeley reported pretax profit of 61.6 million pounds, compared with 52.0 million pounds in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 15.9 percent to 336.2 million ($525.7 million).

Today's results.......demonstrate the underlying resilience of the housing market in London and the South East over the last six months, said managing director Rob Perrins.

This strong set of results represents an excellent performance from Berkeley at a time when the economy is looking to find traction for what is proving an elusive sustained recovery, the company said.

The Group, with focus on the southeast of England, sold 1,249 residential units at an average selling price of 262,000 pounds, compared with 914 units in the year-ago period at 299,000 pounds.

This strong performance provides the Board with confidence that Berkeley can outperform management's original expectations for the current year and is well placed for the following year, Perrins said.

Longer term, Berkeley said its outlook remains closely aligned to the success of London in attracting investment, employment and of course, retaining its status as the premier World City.

The Group remains well positioned to deliver enhanced shareholder value due to the underlying demand for the well located, quality homes developed by Berkeley in London and the South East, it said.

Since May of this year house prices have fallen by 2.4 percent, leaving the average house price in November at 163,398 pounds. House prices fell by 0.3 percent in November, for the second month in a row, compared with a drop of 0.7 percent in October, according to the Nationwide House Price Index.

Shares of Berkeley are trading 1.61 percent higher at 853.50 pence at 08:59 am GMT Friday on the London Stock Exchange.