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Barratt heralds return to profit

Barratt Developments has made a return to profit, posting £42.7 million before tax and exceptional items, recovering from a loss of £33m last year.

The firm said the private average selling price, excluding joint ventures, was up 7.4 per cent for the full year to £198,900 from £185,200 in 2010.

Revenue remained the same at around £2 billion. However, the firm sustained losses after exceptional items, before tax, of £11.5m, down from £162.9m last year.

Mark Clare, group chief executive, said: “We have made considerable progress in rebuilding profitability - by optimising selling prices, improving operational efficiency and securing new higher margin land. Whilst we expect progress to continue, further recovery in the Housing market remains dependent on improving economic conditions and the ability of our customers to secure mortgage finance.”

Access to adequate mortgage finance, particularly with higher loan to value products, remained the biggest challenge for the sector, the financial statement said. .

“With continuing low levels of new build activity, there remains a fundamental imbalance between annual housing demand and supply which will continue to widen unless the underlying causes are addressed,” it said.

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