Barratt eyes higher profits

City A.M. Reporter
BARRATT Developments yesterday said it was on track for higher profits this financial year as its focus on higher-margin sites, rather than volumes, pays off in a tough market.

The UK’s largest housebuilder said market conditions had remained stable since July, but it highlighted that recent government schemes aimed at easing mortgage lending had yet to filter through to help the country’s housing market gain traction.

In a trading statement covering the first 18 weeks of the year, the group said weekly net private reservations per site averaged 0.54, marginally up from 0.53 a year ago, while the cancellation rate inched up to 16 per cent from 15.5 per cent.

Forward sales rose 21.1 per cent to £768.5m while the government’s NewBuy scheme now made up nine per cent of private reservations.