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Barratt Developments increase shareholder pay-outs as profits double

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Barratt Developments (LON:BDEV) announced a doubling of profits and promised to increase returns to shareholders – providing the latest boost in sentiment for the UK housing market.

Revenues grew more than 20% to £3.1bn, whilst pre-tax profit increased to £390mln compared with £192mln in the prior year.

The builder said the housing market had returned to normal after a spike in interest following the launch of the government’s ‘help to buy’ scheme - which helps fund first-time buyers onto the property ladder. 

Barratt increases its dividend to 10.3p for the full year, versus just 2.5p last year, and said it intends to make £400mln of ‘special’ cash pay-outs to shareholder over the coming three years.

In London Barratt shares were up 1.1p, 0.3%, trading at around 368p.

Numis analyst Chris Millington said: “Commentary on current trading is positive with the group reporting only a small decline in the private sales rate over the summer against exceptionally tough comparatives and positive pricing dynamics.”

“We retain our positive stance and argue that Barratt, and the sector in general, remain too cheap.”

Panmure Gordon’s Rachael Applegate, meanwhile, said: “the key takeaway from today’s statement is the news that the group will return cash to shareholders over the next 3 years with special payments running alongside normal dividends.”

Quick facts: Barratt Developments

Price: 490.3 GBX

LSE:BDEV
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £4.99 billion
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