BUSINESS LIVE: Berkeley costs ease; Anglo American eyes positive outlook; Grafton hikes share buyback

The FTSE 100 will open at 8am. Among the companies with reports and trading updates today are Berkeley Group, Anglo American, Grafton and Flutter. Read the Friday 8 December Business Live blog below.

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Berkeley costs ease

Berkeley Group is the latest homebuilder to highlight difficult trading conditions on Friday, as high mortgage costs continue to batter demand, but the firm said previously rampant cost inflation had now eased significantly.

The FTSE 100 builder posted an approximately 5 per cent rise in pre-tax profit to £298million for the six months ended 31 October.

Berkeley told investors: ‘Sales pricing is firm and above business plan levels, with build cost inflation across most trades at negligible levels.’

Boss Rob Perrins said: ‘In today’s environment, Berkeley will intensify its disciplined approach to operating cost control and work in progress investment, while continually looking to identify the best development solution on each of its sites for the benefit of all its stakeholders.

‘We are ready and able to deploy capital into new opportunities once the market and regulatory cycles inflect and returns can be earned commensurate with the level of upfront investment and operational risk we undertake.’