Barratt Developments reports strong first half results
Barratt Developments has reported a rise in half-year sales and profits as it continues to shrug off Brexit pressures hitting the wider property market.
The UK's largest housebuilder posted a 7.2pc rise in revenues to £2.1bn in the six months to December 31, while pre-tax profits jumped 19.1pc to £408m.
Barratt, which operates nationwide, said demand continues to be supported by the UK Government's Help to Buy initiative for first-time buyers, as well as the wide availability of "attractive" mortgage finance.
Chief executive David Thomas said: "The group has delivered a strong operational and financial performance across the half year.
"Operating efficiencies are delivering improved margins and our controlled and disciplined business model means we have a high-quality land bank, strong forward sales, excellent financial position and efficient cash flow generation."
Completions in the first half came in at 7,622 homes, up 4.1pc, while the average selling price of homes was broadly flat at £282,200.
Total forward sales were up 7.3pc at £3bn and the outlook for the full year remains in line with expectations.
On Brexit, Barratt said it is working with suppliers to ensure the "continuity of supply of non-UK manufactured components", as it seeks to mitigate chaos at ports in the event of a disorderly exit.
However, despite the wider economic uncertainty that Brexit is bringing, Barratt insisted it is in a strong position.
Mr Thomas added: "Whilst we continue to monitor market conditions closely, current trading is in line with our expectations and we are confident of delivering a good financial and operational performance in full year 2019."
The stellar results come despite a string of rivals such as Crest, Telford Homes and Bellway sounding the alarm bell over Brexit.
Telford has cautioned that Brexit sentiment is affecting demand for homes costing above £600,000, with buyers adopting a "wait and see" approach as Britain's exit day looms.
Newcastle-based Bellway flagged worries over the threat of a Brexit hit to spring's busy selling season.