Housebuilder Redrow - which is behind a major development in Birmingham - shored up confidence in the housebuilding sector by growing profits at a time when many rivals are banking less money than before.

The Flintshire-based firm yesterday said profits of £141.1 million for the year to June 30 were a new record and 14 per cent ahead of the previous 12 months despite a slowing property market.

Redrow is carrying out major work at Canal Square in Birmingham city centre, near Broad Street, where legal completion of one phase of the operation has been secured and the next phase is under way.

Redrow weathered the reduced level of activity by making sure it secured top prices for its homes and preventing a major drop in reservations by opening more sales outlets.

Profits over the past six months were up seven per cent despite the fact that the UK housing boom was at its height during the first half of 2004.

This is in contrast to rival Bovis Homes which told investors this week that its interim profits had slipped from £ 66 . 8 million to £45.1 million over the past six months.

While Redrow said its sales were nine per cent below last year as successive hikes in interest rates and fears over consumer debts unsettled would-be buyers, it pointed out the rate was still ahead of the historic norm.

Chairman Robert Jones said: "Consumer confidence will be a key factor in determining the strength of the housing market in the short term.

"However, the fundamentals for our industry are sound and we have a high quality land bank, effective product range and strong management team which in the medium term provide a platform for growth."

These fundamentals include high levels of employment in the UK and interest rates that are still low compared with past decades.

At the same time, there is a shortage of housing compared with demand in the UK - a problem exacerbated by planning delays that have drawn the ire of the biggest housebuilders.

Redrow said its land bank was maintained at 17,300 plots over the past year, underpinning its confidence that it could open more outlets to tap demand.

Reservations in the first ten weeks of the financial year are ten per cent ahead of last summer, reflecting a ten per cent rise in the number of outlets opened for selling its homes.

The group has also reacted to the slowing market by launching its Debut range of affordable homes, which sell for an initial sum of between £50,000 and £110,000 and are not available to buy-to-let investors.

A target of building 2,000 Debut homes each year has been set by the summer of 2010.

Redrow also sells Signature homes and a range of "in the city" apartments.