Toll Brothers Inc. (TOL) Wednesday said profit for its latest quarter surged 56 percent as demand for new luxury homes remained strong.

The Huntingdon Valley-based home builder Wednesday reported net income of $106 million, or $1.31 a share, for the third quarter ended July 31, compared with $68.2 million, or 90 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call (search) had on average expected the company to post earnings of $1.19 per share in the latest quarter.

Revenue rose 46 percent to $1.01 billion from $693.7 million.

Home sales also rose 46 percent, to $991.3 million, for 1,684 homes, and land sales climbed 69 percent to $12.9 million.

Third-quarter contracts rose 69 percent to $1.61 billion, for 2,329 homes, and unconsolidated joint ventures in which the company had an interest signed contracts worth $79.1 million, for 188 homes.

Based on current backlog — which gives the company an idea how much revenue will be generated over the next nine to 12 months — and the pace of current demand, Toll Brothers projects it will deliver between 7,700 and 8,000 homes during the current fiscal year with an average price of more than $600,000.

As a result, the company expects net income to grow at least 30 percent in the fiscal year. Based on projections of community growth in the coming year, and assuming strong demand continues, the company projects 20 percent growth in revenue and net income for next fiscal year.

Toll Brothers' upbeat forecast for the luxury market contrasted with a report released Wednesday by the Commerce Department (search), which showed that sales of new homes declined by a sharp 6.4 percent in July from the previous month. The decline was steeper than analysts were expecting and left home sales at their lowest level since December.