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Barratt Developments on track for 2015 as posts strong first half

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Barratt Developments (LON:BDEV), the UK house builder, is on track for improved 2015 financial results, it said, as it reported a 17% increase in forward sales.

Unveiling a strong first half, the firm said total forward sales as at the end of 2014 stood at £1.68bn compared to £1.43bn at the end of 2013.

For 2014, total completions were  6,971 - 12.5% higher than last year, while the average selling  price was around £229,000.

The group said margins were increasing in line with expectations reflecting the higher proportion of completions from newer higher margin land, growth in volumes, operational improvements, and the benefit from underlying house price inflation.

"Consumer demand across all of our regions has remained robust.  Mortgage availability and the range of products and rates on offer to our customers continue to improve as competition amongst mortgage providers increases."

The firm said it expects to open a further 90 new homes sites in the next six months including Hollygate Park, the former Cotgrave colliery in Nottinghamshire and The Chocolate Works in York - a re-development of the former Terry's chocolate factory.

"Barratt continues to benefit from operational changes introduced to the business and is on track to deliver a further significant improvement in performance in FY15.

"We have re-balanced the delivery profile of the business and significantly strengthened our forward order position, both of which are reflected in the strong first half performance."

The group added that the latest performance supported its capital return plan, which is expected to return £400m of special cash payments in addition to around £490mln dividends by November 2017.


Quick facts: Barratt Developments

Price: 667.6 GBX

LSE:BDEV
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £6.81 billion
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