Barratt Developments - Prices climbing, but sales rates flat

Barratt built the Fulham Riverside development

Barratt built the Fulham Riverside development

Barratt posted a two per cent increase in completions, up to 7,324 compared with 7,180 in the first half of the preceding year.

The group reported a continued strong performance for the period, with total average selling price ('ASP') on completions increasing by 6.5% and total completions for the period, including joint ventures, at 7,324.

Average net private reservations per week edged down slightly to 246 from 247 previous year while the sales rate was flat at 0.68.

The company launched 93 new developments in the period, a rise from 83, and operated from an average of 376 outlets.

The company said it continues to expect average active outlet numbers to "grow modestly" for the full year. This included private forward sales at a value of £1,457.8 million, up 0.4% which equated to 4,209 plots compared to 2016's 4,037.

The company purchased £641.2 mln worth op operational land over the six month period, with over 13, k260 plots and 51 sites being approved. That compares to £328.2mln of land, including 39 sites and 5,262 plots a year ago.

Net cash at 31 December 2017 was around £165m, down from £196.7m at the same point in 2016, which the firm said reflected its "success in land purchasing", normal seasonal trends, and the payment of £348m in 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".

"We remain committed to delivering our capital return pan and, as previously announced, the board proposes to pay a special dividend of £175mln for the current financial year to be paid in November 2018", Barratt said.

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