Barratt sees strong start to year

Published:  23 February, 2012

LONDON: Barratt Developments has revealed a strong start to its spring selling season after reservations jumped by a fifth on a year earlier.

The house builder said the performance reinforced its optimism after a return of half-year profits with a surplus of £21.6m for the six months to December 31, compared with losses of £4.6m a year ago.

Average selling prices in the half-year rose by 3.1% to £181,200, fuelled by greater robustness in the southeast, where it has many of its 382 sites. Chief executive Mark Clare said the acquisition of land at attractive prices during the economic downturn was driving its recovery.

"Over the last six months we have continued to improve the performance of the business, despite the wider economic uncertainty, he said.

In the first seven weeks of 2012, Barratt said private reservations increased by 21.8% on a year earlier, while cancellation rates have remained low at an average of 13.8%.

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