Redrow boss calls for government to release green belt land

 
Helen Cahill
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From The Boundary's Edge
Redrow boss: "It isn't all rolling countryside" (Source: Getty)

Redrow chief executive John Tutte has said the government should have unlocked more greenbelt land for development in the housing white paper.

Speaking to City A.M., Tutte said: "Controversially, we would have liked to have seen something more forceful on releasing the green belt.

"It isn't all rolling countryside."

His comments come after communities secretary Sajid Javid released the government's delayed housing white paper yesterday, a document critics described as "feeble".

Redrow's share price was up more than four per cent this morning after the housebuilder a jump in revenue and profits in its interim results.

The figures

Over the six months to 31 December, Redrow's completions rose 13 per cent to 2,459, up from 2,178 the year before. Group revenue grew 23 per cent, from £603m to £739m, and profit before tax jumped 35 per cent, from £104m to £140m.

Dividend per share rose 50 per cent, from 4p to 6p.

Why it's interesting

Redrow hasn't been hit by the recent falls in house prices in London because it pulled out of central London development over two years ago. Land prices were becoming too high, and the business wasn't sure London's rise would continue indefinitely. Now, London accounts for roughly a fifth of Redrow's business.

Read more: The housing white paper's big winners: Housebuilder and estate agent shares

"We made the right decision at the right time," said Tutte. "You sometimes get indicators that say things aren't quite right."

Meanwhile, developers such as Barratt are struggling to sell their luxury homes, and have cut prices.

What Redrow said

Steve Morgan, chairman of Redrow, said: "Redrow delivered a robust performance in the first half, producing another set of record results.

"We entered the second half with a record order book, and customer traffic and sales remain robust. Given the strength of our sales position and land holdings our growth strategy is firmly on track, giving me every confidence this will be another year of significant progress for Redrow."

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