Build­ing firm set to beat profit tar­gets

Yorkshire Post - Business - - BUSINESS / NEWS - Grace Ham­mond NEWS RE­PORTER @ york­shire­post

Bar­ratt De­vel­op­ments’ shares rose after the com­pany said it would beat profit tar­gets.

For the year ended June 30, Bar­ratt sold 17,579 homes, up from 17,395 the year be­fore, which the house­builder said was its high­est num­ber of com­ple­tions in 10 years.

Profit be­fore tax is ex­pected to come in at £ 835 mil­lion, up nine per cent from £ 765.1 mil­lion, and beat­ing mar­ket ex­pec­ta­tions of £ 812 mil­lion.

In early morn­ing trad­ing, Bar­ratt’s shares were up 2.61 per cent or 12.6p to 495.6p.

The value of Bar­ratt’s for­ward or­der book rose 1.5 per cent from £ 2.14 bil­lion to £ 2.18 bil­lion, rep­re­sent­ing 10,155 plots.

The av­er­age sell­ing price of a Bar­ratt home was around £ 289,000 over the year, up from £ 275,200 in the prior year, with af­ford­able hous­ing mak­ing up around a fifth of sales.

David Thomas, Bar­ratt’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, said: “It has been a very good year for the group both op­er­a­tionally and fi­nan­cially with strong cus­tomer de­mand for our high qual­ity new homes across our busi­ness.

“We be­gin the new fi­nan­cial year with a healthy for­ward or­der book, a strong cash po­si­tion and a con­tin­ued fo­cus on de­liv­ery of op­er­a­tional im­prove­ments across our busi­ness.”

Robin Hardy, an­a­lyst at Shore Cap­i­tal Mar­kets, said that while Bar­ratt was beat­ing ex­pec­ta­tions, there was rea­son to re­main cau­tious about the house­builder’s out­look. Prices are weak­en­ing across the mar­ket, with the rate of price in­fla­tion now be­low two per cent.”

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