Barratt to return £950m to shareholders as profits double

Aaron Morby 10 years ago
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Barratt has become the latest house builder to pledge to return cash to shareholders in a new three-year plan.

Britain’s biggest house builder this morning said its will return £950m to shareholders by 2017 as it announced pre-tax profits had doubled to £390m in the year to June.

The firm, which has been the most vocal about raising house building rates to meet surging demand, said completions were up 8.6% to 14,838.

Its private average selling price over the year increased by nearly 13% to £241,600, driven by further changes in mix and some house price inflation.

This helped to lift revenues at the firm by around a fifth to £3.16bn, while operating margins jumped to 13% from 10% in the previous year.

The booming housing market saw Barratt overcome a mountain of debt to return for the first time in eight years to a net cash position of £73m.

Despite warnings that land prices are rising steeply the firm continued to buy land at key hurdle rates approving 21,478 plots for purchase and extending the controlled land supply to 4.7 years.

Mark Clare, group chief executive, said: “This significant improvement in performance has been driven by the £3.8bn we have committed to land investment since mid-2009, together with the recovering market and improvements in design, quality and efficiency.

“Our disciplined approach will support a further significant increase in performance this year and we are now targeting a return on capital of at least 25% by FY17.

“Our special cash payment programme for the next three years combined with our ordinary dividend, is expected to return around £950m of cash to our shareholders.”

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