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Barratt turnover down a third after building 27% less homes

24 Feb 10 Barratt turnover fell by a third during the six months to 31 December 2009 after it built 27% fewer homes compared to the same period a year earlier.

Barratt turnover fell by a third during the six months to 31 December 2009 after it built 27% fewer homes compared to the same period a year earlier.

Turnover dropped to £872.4m (H1 2008: £1.3bn), and the house builder made a pre-tax loss before exceptional items of £178.4m for the reporting period (H1 2008: £594.5).

The main exceptional was a £129.9m writedown in relation to its Atlantic Quay 5 development in Glasgow.

Barratt built 5,053 homes in the six months to 31 December 2009 (H1 2008: 6,905).

However, the average sale price rose 3.5% to £166,300 (H1 2008: £160,700), which Barratt said was largely due to changes in its mix towards more houses and less apartments.

Forward sales at 31 December 2009 were £651.2m representing 3,995 units compared to £455.8m and 3,529 units a year before.

At 21 February 2010, forward sales had increased to £847.4m. Barratt says this means it has secured around 77% of its full year requirement.

Since mid-2009 Barratt has agreed terms to buy £358m of land, comprising 74 sites and 9,038 units.

Net debt was £605.3m at 31 December 2009 compared to £1.4 billion a year earlier, a reduction of £671.6m since 30 June 2009 due chiefly to a £720m rights issue and the sale of Atlantic Quay 5 for £25m.

Barratt chief executive Mark Clare said: “During the last six months, we have improved our trading performance, successfully refinanced the business and invested in new land.

“The value of our forward order book is now up 27% year on year and with our ongoing focus on optimising selling prices we are expecting to see significant improvements in operating margin in the second half.”
 

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