Housebuilder Barrett Developments said Wednesday it expected to end its financial year with record pre-tax profits of about £835m, as its regional business performed strongly. Total completions including joint ventures rose to 17,579 for the year through June, the highest in a decade, from 17,395 the previous year. Year-end net cash was expected to be ahead of guidance at £790m, up from £723.7m the previous year. The average selling price of Barratt’s homes increased about 5.1% to £329,000, while the value of its order book rose 5.6% to £2.0bn. The upbeat performance was supported by a regional business that performed particularly strongly over the year, and better-than-expected year end trading in Central London, Barrett said. The group approved £933.9m of operational land for purchase in the year, down from £957.2m in 2017, but this is expected to equate to 20,951 plots versus 18,497 plots the previous year. The group reiterated it was proposing a special dividend of £175m in November 2018 and November 2019. It added that in the five years to November 2019, it would have delivered £1.9bn of cash returns in the form of dividends. 'The board is confident in the future progress of the group and we enter our new financial year with good momentum supported by a strong forward order book,' Barrett said.
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