Barratt Developments reports a strong operational and financial performance for the year to the end of June and a positive start to the new financial year. The group reports a record profit before tax of £682.3m, up 20.7% on the prior year (2015: £565.5m), and its highest ROCE in ten years at 27.1% (2015: 23.9%). It also said it had significantly strengthened its balance sheet, ending the year with net cash of £592.0m. Highlights - Disciplined growth in housing completions, delivering the 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 the group's 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) Current trading: - 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) Chief executive David Thomas said: "The strong operational and financial performance in FY16 reinforces the progress we have made over the last few years as does our disciplined volume growth. This was underpinned by our fast asset turn model and our industry leading customer service and construction excellence. "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."
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