Barratt warns of tough times despite profit rise

Housebuilder Barratt Developments said wider economic fears and the lack of mortgage finance meant the market for new housing was still challenging as it reported a jump in profits.

House prices fell much faster than expected last month, according to a monthly survey from mortgage lender Nationwide, stoking concerns that the country could be headed for a double-dip recession.

Barratt said it would therefore continue to focus on prices rather than volume and would not reinstate dividends, unlike rivals Bovis and Persimmon.

For the year to end-June it reported operating profit of £90.1m, up from 34.2m one year ago.

Barratt had said in July it would report operating profit of at least 85 million pounds for the year thanks to a strong second-half performance.