Barratt sees first half profits rising

HOUSEBUILDER Barratt Developments yesterday reported a surge in first-half operating profit and a rise in sales.

A focus on margins is helping UK housebuilders recover their footing after several difficult years, supported by new and cheaper land and a shift from apartments towards houses, which is lifting average selling prices.

Barratt, one of the larger listed housebuilders, said in a trading update it expected its group operating profit to rise by 40 per cent to £61m for the six months through to December.

The average selling price rose three per cent to £181,000.

Group revenue is expected to rise eight per cent year-on-year to £950m, albeit against weak comparative figures hit by the big freeze last winter.

Barratt is due to release first-half results in February.