Barratt well placed after strong first half

Barratt Developments reports a strong first half performance, with good customer demand driven by a positive market backdrop.

Barratt said total completions including joint ventures rose to 7,324 from 7,180 a year ago and that it was well positioned for the second half of its financial year with total plots forward sold (including JVs) as at 31 Dec up 3.8% at 10,921 plots (2016: 10,520 plots) at a value of £2,383.8m (2016: £2,336.6m).

Other highlights:

- Land market remains attractive with £641.2m (2016: £328.2m) of land approved for purchase equating to 51 sites (2016: 39 sites) and 13,263 plots (2016: 5,262 plots)

- Net cash as at 31 Dec was c.£165m (2016: £196.7m) reflecting the group's success in land purchasing, normal seasonal trends and the payment of £348m (2016: £248m) of dividends in November

Chief executive David Thomas said: 'We have delivered a strong performance in the first half, underpinned by our focus on quality, design and industry-leading customer service.

'As the UK's largest housebuilder we remain firmly committed to helping address the housing shortage whilst delivering excellent operational and financial performance.

'In 2018 we are celebrating our 60th anniversary, and we are proud that we have built more than 450,000 homes across the country since 1958.'