Barratt Developments upbeat as government schemes lift profits

 
Kasmira Jefford
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BARRATT Developments said yesterday it expects to post better than expected full-year profits, after improving mortgage availability and government schemes to help struggling homebuyers boosted sales.

Britain’s largest housebuilder by volume said it now expects full year pre-tax profits and exceptional items to be £192m, at the top end of analyst forecasts of around £191m.

Sales jumped 17.9 per cent in the second half of the year to 30 June, and by 34.7 per cent since the launch of Help to Buy in April.

“We recognise the support the government is giving to the market by way of products such as Help to Buy – and that is definitely helping in terms of momentum in the market,” David Thomas, group finance director, told City A.M.

The group, which has been steadily reducing its debt pile over the last few years, said net debt stood at £30m at 30 June, down from £167.7m for the same period last year and £1.3bn in June 2009.

Barratt said total completions, including joint ventures, totalled 13,663 for the full year compared with 12,857 in 2012 and that private completions were up by 16.1 per cent in the second half at 10,978.

It also announced a joint venture with JP Morgan Real Estate to build 770 homes near Greenwich.