Bovis Homes saw profits rocket in the first half with operating margins nearly five percentage points higher than last year, prompting the housebuilder to hike its interim dividend by 200%.
Pre-tax profit in the six months to 30 June totalled £49.4m, up 166% over the year before, on revenues that jumped 75% to £322.1m, as completions reached a record level and sales prices improved.
Operating margins improved by 480 basis points year-on-year to 15.9%, well ahead of July's guidance of "at least 15%".
The company said legal completions rose to 1,487 homes, up 54% on the 963 completed in the first half of 2013.
Meanwhile, the average sales price of homes legally completed was up 11% at £210,000, with prices of private legal completions up 20% at £239,500.
"I am delighted to report that the group is delivering on its growth strategy and combined with housing market improvements is producing fast improving returns," said chief executive David Ritchie.
He said that the board expects to pay an "enhanced dividend for 2014 of 35 pence per share", which would represent a significant increase on the 13.5p paid out in 2013.
Since the half-year mark, Bovis said it has seen a "more traditional summer period" with lower sales activity. It highlighted that this traditional lull did not take place last year after Help to Buy fuelled demand throughout the summer.
Non-life insurance and reinsurance underwriting group Amlin posted a drop in half-year pre-tax profit, which it blamed on an adverse foreign exchange
translations of £24.6m and large catastrophe losses.
The figure dropped from £161.4m to £148.5m year-on-year, while earnings per share declined from 28.2p to 27.3p.
The group said its large catastrophe losses were limited, with only "modest" exposure to the Malaysian Airlines MH370 and the Sewol Korean passenger vessel disasters. In all, large catastrophe losses totalled £48.9m, significantly higher than the £32.2m reported in the same period a year earlier.
Gross written premiums rose 2.8% from £1,838.9m to £1,891.2m and at constant currency climbed 8.2%.
Overall, the average renewal rate for the period was a decrease of 3.3%, with reinsurance rates coming under further downward pressure. Renewal retention, however, remained high at 86% (H1 2013: 87%).
Net written premiums increased by 7.3% to £1,637.2m following changes made to the outwards reinsurance programme at the beginning of the year.
The underwriting return was healthy, supported by pleasing growth in written premium and changes made to the outwards reinsurance programme. Despite the challenging conditions facing investment markets, the six month investment return was "solid" at 1.3%.
Chief executive Charles Philipps said: "Amlin continues to generate good returns despite a more competitive trading environment, demonstrating the strength of our franchise and the benefit of a well diversified portfolio. While remaining focused on underwriting discipline, we continue to identify opportunities for profitable growth.
"With the benefit of previous premium growth and significant savings on outwards reinsurance, Amlin remains well positioned in current market conditions."