Barratt resumes dividend payments after record sales
The board of housebuilder Barratt has decided to resume dividend payments to shareholders after the company experienced record sales over the past six months.
The firm saw 9,077 house sales in the half-year, a 9.2% increase from the same period in 2019.
Revenues rose more than 10% to £2.95 billion as a result and its net cash position more than doubled to £1.11bn.
In an update to the Stock Exchange, Barratt said it was resuming dividend payments with an interim dividend of 7.5p per share, with the aim of paying a full year dividend cover of 2.5 times.
The group incurred an additional £56.3m of costs in the half year in relation to legacy properties, the largest component of which related to Citiscape, a block in Croydon that was built by Barratt in 2002 and had the same aluminium composite material cladding as that used on Grenfell Tower. Barratt said a review announced in July 2020 has not identified any other buildings with issues as severe as those present at Citiscape.
Outlook for the full year remains in line with the board’s expectations with wholly owned completions expected to be between 15,250 and 15,750 homes with around 650 further joint venture home completions in FY21.
David Thomas, chief executive of Barratt Developments PLC, said: “Our first priority remains keeping our colleagues and customers safe. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do and I would like to say a huge thank you to all of our employees and sub-contractors who have continued to deliver great quality homes and excellent customer service throughout these challenging times. We have achieved a fantastic first half performance, with a strong rebound in completion volumes and good progress towards our medium term targets.
“We have also made a solid start to the second half and are now over 95% forward sold for our financial year. Whilst we are mindful of the continued economic uncertainties, the housing market fundamentals remain attractive and our outlook for the full year remains in line with expectations. We will continue to lead the industry in quality and service as we deliver the high quality sustainable homes and developments the country needs, creating jobs and supporting the economic recovery across England, Scotland and Wales.”