Barratt Developments has made a strong start to its financial year with customer demand for new homes supported by wide availability of attractive mortgage finance. In a trading update ahead of today's annual general meeting, the group said the strength of demand across its regions was demonstrated by net private reservations per average week of 268 (2016: 265) for the period, resulting in a sales rate of 0.74 (2016: 0.74) net private reservations per active outlet per average week. Total forward sales (including joint ventures) were up by 8.4% to £2,876.0m (2016: £2,654.3m) The group said that as previously announced, the board has proposed a record dividend payment of £348m (comprising £173m final dividend and £175m special dividend) payable on 20 Nov, subject to approval at the AGM. Chief executive David Thomas 'We have started the financial year strongly with a good sales rate, driven by customer demand for new homes, and supported by an attractive lending environment. 'We remain committed to quality, build excellence and market leading customer service and are working hard to increase the supply of houses across the UK. 'We remain focused on driving operational improvements through the business and we continue to be confident in delivering a good performance in FY18.'
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