Barratt's share price booms as it announces profit will top expectations

Helen Cahill
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Homebuilders Barratt Homes Record Year On Year Profits Of 159%
Barratt is steering through Brexit uncertainty (Source: Getty)

Barratt Development's share price is booming this morning, up by more than four per cent, after the housebuilder said its profits will be at the top end of analysts' expectations.

Analysts had predicted profit before tax of between £675m and £733m for Barratt.

The figures

The company also said this morning that this year it will be achieving its highest rate of completions since the financial crisis, and expects to deliver around 17,350 new homes.

Read more: Barratt's just sold 172 luxury London new-build flats as rental homes

The housebuilder's forward sales are at record highs for the period between 1 January and 7 May, up by 12.7 per cent to £3.21bn as compared to £2.844bn the year before.

Barratt will purchase around 17,000 plots this year, down 30 per cent on the prior year.

At time of writing, Barratt's share price was up 4.11 per cent at 621p.

Why it's interesting

The latest good news from Barratt comes after it confirmed another year of special dividends in February, and its strong performance suggests the impact of Brexit is being outweighed by high mortgage availability and government schemes, such as Help to Buy and the Lifetime Isa, which are helping first-time buyers onto the housing ladder.

Read more: Savills sounds unsettled by the UK General Election

Savills yesterday predicted that there will be slowdown in housing transactions ahead of the General Election, but investors this morning seemed confident of Barratt's ability to steer through the uncertainty.

Jefferies analyst Anthony Codling said: "Our view of a two speed housing market continues to be validated: whilst the second hand market continues to face headwinds, Barratt will deliver its highest number of home sales in nine years. We are pleased to see that Barratt has a clean bill of health with respect to leasehold issues."

What Barratt Developments said

David Thomas, chief executive of Barratt Developments, said: "We remain firmly committed to delivering industry leading build quality and customer service...Our controlled approach to growth means we are on track to deliver 17,350 completions in the year, the highest number of completions in nine years.

"This, combined with the strong market backdrop, means we now expect full year profit before tax to be at the top of the range of current analyst estimates."

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