The Horsham-based luxury homebuilder Toll Bros. Inc. said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter profit had declined almost 70 percent to $15 million, or 9 cents per share, compared with $50.5 million, or 30 cents per share, in the same period of 2010.

Toll attributed the year-over-year profit decline to write-downs on inventory and joint ventures, as well as charges related to retirement of debt.

A $59.9 million tax benefit in the year-ago quarter also had provided a big boost to the builder's income in that period, when the pretax loss was $9.5 million.

Without the charges, fourth-quarter 2011 pretax income would have reached $33.9 million, up from $18.1 million a year earlier. Revenue increased to $427.8 million from $402.6 million.

Chief executive officer Douglas C. Yearly Jr. said Toll's "strong balance sheet gives us the financial flexibility to invest in the future," despite continued economic uncertainty here and abroad.

In Toll's fiscal 2011, the builder spent $281 million for land, buying about 3,400 lots and optioning 5,800. Nearly 60 percent of its 37,500 lots either owned or controlled is in the corridor running from Washington to Boston, "which enjoys lower unemployment and greater affluence than many other regions," Yearly said.

He said that Toll Bros. had recently entered the Seattle market and that the "urban New York market remains a bright light for us," with 2,430 of the 2,550 units in 13 buildings sold.

Contact real estate writer Alan J. Heavens at 215-854-2472, aheavens@phillynews.com,

or @alheavens at Twitter.