Galliford Try enjoyed another year of strong progress, delivering record profit before tax and earnings per share, and a further increase in return on net assets, whilst making significant strides against our strategic targets for 2018.
Revenue including our share of joint ventures rose 10% to £2,670 million (2015: £2,431 million). Group revenue, excluding joint ventures, was 6% higher at £2,495 million (2015: £2,348 million).
Profit from operations, which is stated before finance costs, exceptional items, tax and our share of joint ventures’ interest and tax, rose 13% to £157.5 million (2015: £138.9 million). This resulted in profit before tax of £135.0 million, up 15% from £117.7 million (pre-exceptional) in 2015, principally reflecting revenue growth and improving margins in Linden Homes and Partnerships.
Earnings per share increased by 14% to 132.5 pence (2015: 116.3 pence pre-exceptional), with post-exceptional earnings per share up 17%.
Average net debt during the year was £204 million and year end net debt was £8.7 million, both of which were in line with our plans as we continue to invest in the growth of Linden Homes and Partnerships. We enjoy strong support from our syndicate banks, and during the year we agreed an increase in our bank facility by £50 million to £450 million, on the same terms, in particular to create comfortable headroom for the faster expansion of Partnerships and Regeneration.
We continue to purchase land on deferred payment terms where possible, in order to optimise our return on capital employed. As explained in note 1 of the financial information, we have reviewed our policy on land creditors to bring this into line with our sector peer companies. Under the new policy, land creditors declined to £202.8 million (2015: £224.8 million as restated, compared with £390.9 million on the previous basis).
Group return on net assets, which is profit before tax, finance costs and amortisation, divided by average net assets, increased to 25.3% from 23.3%, reflecting profit growth across the Group. This year we have enhanced our disclosure by providing a segmental split of our balance sheet, as shown in note 2 in the financial statements, enabling us to refine our estimation of divisional return on net assets.