Barratt stokes up land buying and building activity

Aaron Morby 11 years ago
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Britain’s biggest house builder is ramping up land buying and house building activity as the housing recovery takes hold.

Barratt said completions were up 11% to 13,633 in the year to June putting it on track to hit its 16,000 target much earlier than expected due to the impact of Help to Buy.

In a detailed trading statement this morning ahead of year-end results, the house builder revealed private completions have jumped by just over 1,100 at 10,978 and shot up by 16% in the second half to 6,737 .

Chief executive Mark Clare said that Barratt had doubled to £1bn land purchases during the year, equivalent to 18,500 plots.

“As more house buyers return to the market, supported by improved mortgage availability and the Help to Buy scheme, we are in a strong position to continue to grow the value of the business.

“We are increasing our investment in land whilst reducing debt and have delivered a performance ahead of expectations.

He added: “Momentum is continuing to build and with forward sales up substantially, we are confident we can improve our performance still further in the year ahead.”

Clare added that all six of Barratt’s regions had benefitted from improved market conditions with London and the South East continuing to see the strongest uplift.

Sales rates surged 18% in the second half compared to last year with total forward sales up by half.

Operating margin is expected to be restored to double figures for the first time since the crash when final year figures are reported in September.

Profit before tax and exceptional items for the full year is expected to reach £192m, ahead of the top end of City expectations, on the back of a 12% rise in turnover to around £2.6bn.

 

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