Robust figures from housebuilder
Barratt profits soar on positive trading
Barratt Developments has become the latest housebuilder to report robust trading figures. It reported a 20% rise in annual profit before tax to £682.3 million.
The sector took a hammering after the Brexit vote as investors anticipated a slowdown in property activity, but they have recovered over the last two months.
In a statement, Barratt chief executive David Thomas said: “Barratt starts the new financial year in a good position with a strong balance sheet, good forward sales and an experienced management team.
“Whilst we continue to monitor market conditions closely, current trading trends are positive, and I remain confident in the fundamentals of the housing sector and of our business.”
· Disciplined growth in housing completions, delivering our highest total in eight years
· Private average selling price increased by 10.4% to £289,800 (2015: £262,500), predominantly reflecting mix
· Strong growth in profit before tax, up by 20.7% to £682.3m (2015: £565.5m)
· ROCE up 3.2 ppts to 27.1% (2015: 23.9%), reflecting our fast asset turn model
· Positive cash generation resulting in strong balance sheet and net cash at 30 June 2016 of £592.0m (2015: £186.5m)
· Excellent future land opportunities secured with 24,387 plots approved for purchase; controlled land supply of 4.5 years at year end
· Step up in the delivery of strategic land with 22% (2015: 17%) of completions from strategic land
· 19% increase in final ordinary dividend per share to 12.3p (2015: 10.3p) together with 12.4p special dividend per share
· Total FY165 capital return of £308m (2015: £250m), equating to 30.7 pence per share (2015: 25.1 pence per share)
· Positive start to the new financial year, with net private reservations per active outlet per average week from 1 July 2016 of 0.75 (2015: 0.71)
· Total forward sales including JV’s as at 4 September 2016 up by 4.1% compared to last year, at £2,416.5m (6 September 2015: £2,321.9m)