Barratt profit-driven by London housing

Published:  18 July, 2011

GUILDFORD: Housebuilder Barratt expects to deliver pre-tax profits of £40m before exceptional items this year compared to a £33m loss last year, the company said in a trading statement today.

Growth has come mainly from sites in London and the South East. Group chief executive Mark Clare, said: "While we have seen some recovery following the difficult autumn selling season, trading conditions in some areas outside London and the South East remain challenging.

"In London, we continue to benefit from a strong market position, with our developments selling well.

"FirstBuy is a timely boost and is already proving popular, but market recovery cannot be sustained without improved lending conditions. Our focus remains on improving margin rather than driving volumes."

Margins rose to 7.8% from 5.9% in the previous period as the average selling price of homes jumped 5% to £204 000.

Barratt is building on 377 sites and that is set to rise to 400 by the end of the year.

The firm bought £454m worth of land during the year and is sitting on a land bank of 47 900 plots that represent more than four years of supply.

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