Barratt Developments shrugs off Brexit worries with 21 per cent profits jump

David Thomas
David Thomas

Barratt Developments has said it remains so far unscathed by the Brexit vote with the housebuilder reporting a 20.7 per cent rise in pre tax profits and its highest completion volumes for eight years.

A 5.3 per cent increase in completions to 17,319 homes in the year ended 30 June saw profits at the company leap to a record £682.3 million during the period, up from £565.5m a year earlier.

The increase in home completions was even higher in Scotland with 1,600 new homes built north of the Border, up 15 per cent on the 1,390 in 2015.

The company also significantly strengthened its balance sheet, with Barratt’s cash pile rising 217.43 per cent to £592m in 2016.

Chief executive David Thomas said: “Whilst the outcome of the EU referendum has increased levels of economic and political uncertainty, the group is in a strong position, with a substantial year end net cash balance, healthy forward sales position and an experienced management team.

“The board will continue to monitor the market and economy and take appropriate action where necessary. The wider market for new homes remains healthy across Britain, with a long term undersupply of new homes, strong government support to the sector and a liquid mortgage market.

“Consequently, we remain confident in the strong fundamentals of the housing sector and our business.”

“We’re very pleased with where we are in Scotland,” he added. “Following the EU referendum, it’s been people’s main concern in the market, but the customer is behaving normally and the banks are behaving normally, so our take on that is that we should adopt a business-as-usual stance and get on with buying land, building houses and selling houses.”

After eight years’ service to the Board, Mark Rolfe will step down from his position as a non-executive director of the company with effect from the conclusion of the forthcoming AGM to be held in November. Mark will also stand down as the senior independent director and chairman of the audit committee on the same date.

Richard Akers, who has been a non-executive director of the group since 2012 and is also chairman of the remuneration committee, will replace Mark Rolfe as the senior independent director.

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