"We have delivered another very strong first half performance, pre-tax profits were up nearly 9%"
Barratt Developments has enjoyed a “strong” half year, with pre-tax profit up but total completions slipping.
During the six months to December 31 2016, the volume housebuilder’s pre-tax profit rose 8.8% to £321 million against the equivalent period the previous year. Meanwhile, revenue dipped 3.2% to £1,816.2 million.
Barratt said that its completions outside London had reached their highest level in nine years, at 6,813 against the prior year's 6,784. However, total completions fell 5.8% to 7,180 homes with London completions dragging down the overall number.
In the capital, Barratt’s completions fell to 367 homes from 2015’s 842. The firm said this was in line with its planned build programme and it expected “a significant increase in completions on wholly owned sites in London in the second half”.
Total private completions fell 7.2% to 5,561 homes, on a private average selling price of £296,400, up 5.4% due to changes in mix and some underlying house price inflation.
Barratt’s net private reservation rate during the period was 0.68 per active outlet per week against 2015’s 0.66. It operated from an average of 374 outlets (2015: 386). It reported a strong sales performance in the second half to date, with completion growth expected in the second half. Total forward sales as of February 19 2017 were up 17% on the previous year at a “record” £3,018.2 million.
Barratt said it expected to achieve “modest volume growth” in its wholly owned completions for the full year, and would deliver around 700 JV completions.
David Thomas, Barratt’s ceo, said: “We have delivered another very strong first half performance, pre-tax profits were up nearly 9% and completions outside of London at their highest level in nine years.
With a record forward order book, strong consumer demand and a positive lending backdrop, we remain confident in our outlook for the full year.”