Barratt bill for RC frame and cladding problem hits £82m

Aaron Morby 2 years ago

Britain’s biggest house builder Barratt estimates that the final bill for rectifying concrete design defects and unsafe cladding at several blocks will cost £82m.

Serious concrete cracking at Croydon's Citiscape scheme prompted a review of 26 other buildings
Serious concrete cracking at Croydon's Citiscape scheme prompted a review of 26 other buildings

Problems with several multi-storey concrete frames built over 10 years ago were uncovered during post-Grenfell cladding and building checks.

Significant structural problems were found at its Citiscape residential high-rise in Croydon town centre last year which had suffered large cracks.

This prompted Barratt to survey 26 other developments where reinforced concrete frames were designed for Barratt by either the same original engineering firm or by other companies within the group of companies which has since acquired it. 

Reporting strong first-half results this morning, Barratt confirmed the review was now substantially complete with no other buildings presenting issues as severe as those present at Citiscape.

The firm said it now expected remedial works for concrete frame defects to cost £66m, with cladding retrofits expected to cost nearly £16m to rectify.

David Thomas, chief executive of Barratt, said: “Detailed reviews are ongoing and, in line with our commitment to put our customers first we will ensure that the costs associated with any remedial works from these reviews are not borne by leaseholders.”

Over the six months to December last year, Barratt delivered record first-half completions, up 9.2% to 9,077 after it ramped up work after the Spring site lockdown.

Thomas said: “After the unprecedented challenges arising from Covid-19, we are determined to rebuild our completion volumes to those delivered in FY19 as quickly as we can, while maintaining our disciplined approach and focus on customer service and quality.”

Pre-tax profit for the first half remained level at £430m on revenue ahead 10% at 2.5bn.

Thomas said he expected year-end net cash of between £700m – £750m as a result of improved trading but reflecting too, increased land and working capital investment in the second half to support Barratt’s growth plans.

The house builder also resumed dividends.

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