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04 Feb 2021 | 07:41

Barratt Developments hails 'record' H1 completions, declares dividend

(Sharecast News) - Barratt Developments said on Thursday that first-half pre-tax profit edged higher amid record completions, as the housebuilder declared an interim dividend. In the six months to the end of December 2020, pre-tax profit edged up 1.7% to £430.2m on revenue of £2.5bn, up 10.1% on the same period a year ago. Barratt hailed "record" first-half completions, up 9.2% to 9,077.

The company attributed the growth to underlying market strength, pent-up demand following the initial national lockdown and demand resulting from the stamp duty holiday and the end of the Help to Buy scheme in March.

In light of its performance, Barratt said it was resuming dividend payments, with an interim dividend of 7.5p a share. It continues to target a full-year dividend based on a dividend cover of 2.5 times full-year earnings.

The housebuilder said it has had a solid start to the second half, with 264 net private reservations per average week compared to 294 in 2020, and operated from an average of 343 outlets versus 355 a year ago.

Barratt reaffirmed its outlook for the full year, with wholly-owned completions expected to be between 15,250 and 15,750 homes.

Chief executive David Thomas said: "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."

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