Increased Profit: Barratt, Britain’s third largest house builder struck an upbeat tone to the property market. Pre-tax profit increased 10.2 per cent to £194.6m for the last six months of 2007. During the year the group completed more than 17,000 homes and 145,000 sq ft of commercial property. Completions were 14.8 per cent less than in 2006. The average selling price was £178,000, an increase of 7.9 per cent, when compared to £165,000 last year.
Increased Profit: Despite difficulties in the housing market, with many builders reporting slow demand in the wake of the credit squeeze. Barratt has been helped by its £2.1bn acquisition of Wilson Bowden in April 2007. Forward sales had increased to £1,615m which is 7 per cent lower than last year. Removing the acquisition benefits of Wilson Bowden the order book was down 5.5 per cent on the same period last year.
Mark Clare, Chief Executive of Barratt Development commented, “Trading conditions over the last six months have been difficult and the business has had to adjust to this new environment.
“Visitor and reservation levels continue to improve and we remain optimistic this will continue through the balance of the spring selling season.
“We have traded satisfactorily whilst successfully completing the integration of Wilson Bowden. We have focused on improving every aspect of the business and this has underpinned a robust margin.
“We are continuing to reduce costs, whilst improving sales effectiveness to ensure that prices and volumes are maximised.
“We remain committed to providing affordable homes and have maintained our strong presence in the social housing sector, and will continue to support fist time buyers with our own shared equity product.”
Editor: Simon Weston myfirsthomeltd.co.uk
Related articles Barratt homes q
- Housing: thinking outside the boxes | Nicholas Taylor (guardian.co.uk)