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Barratt Developments revenue up 40.7% annually

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Barratt Developments’ full year revenue, ending 30 June, was £4.8bn, up 40.7% on 2020 and 1.0% on 2019.

 

According to the business, this reflected increased completions and higher average prices compared to both 2020 and 2019.

Operating profits came in at £811.1m, up 64.4% year-on-year but still 10.0% below 2019.

The decline on 2019 reflected lower gross margins, which the firm said was due to legacy property costs and repayment of coronavirus grants from the government.

The firm reported a final ordinary dividend per share of 21.9p (2020: nil; 2019: 19.5p), together with the interim dividend of 7.5p (2020: nil; 2019: 9.6p), resulting in a total ordinary dividend for the financial year of 29.4p (2020: nil; 2019: 29.1p).

Barratt Developments’ shares fell 2.5% in early trading.

Total home completions increased by 36.8% to 17,243 (2020: 12,604), 3.4% below the 17,856 total completions achieved in 2019.

The firm saw a gross margin of 21.0% (2020: 18.0%; 2019: 22.8%) with the adjusted gross margin recovering to 23.2% (2020: 18.5%; 2019: 22.8%).

Net cash at 30 June 2021 was £1,317.4m (30 June 2020: £308.2m; 30 June 2019: £765.7m).

Barratt Developments reported that it had approved £876.8m (2020: £368.1m; 2019: £859.8m) of operational land for purchase, equating to 18,067 plots (2020: 9,441 plots; 2019: 18,448 plots) on 97 new sites (2020: 51; 2019: 90).

Currently, the firm has seen net private reservations per active outlet per average week at 0.83, from 1 July through to 22 August.

This is 11.7% below the equivalent initial post-lockdown period in the 2021 financial year, at 0.94, but 22.1% above the 0.68 achieved in the same period in the 2020 financial year.

As at 22 August 2021, the business had 15,734 homes (2020: 15,660; 2019: 13,064) at a value of £3,939.9m (2020: £3,706.5m; 2019: £3,037.5m).

Construction activity is reportedly on track to deliver Barratt’s planned output growth, with 335 equivalent homes per average week built to date in the new financial year (2021: 290 homes; 2020: 361 homes).

David Thomas, chief executive of Barratt Developments, said: “We have made excellent progress this year thanks to the resilience, flexibility and hard work of our employees, sub-contractors and suppliers, who have also continued to deliver the highest standards of quality and service.

“We have begun the new financial year in a strong position and, whilst there are still uncertainties ahead, our strong balance sheet, forward order book visibility and construction activity to date all stand us in good stead.

“There is very strong demand for houses across the country and we play a crucial role in providing the high quality and sustainable homes this country needs.

“As we work towards our medium term target of growing completions to 20,000 homes a year, we are committed to doing so as the leading national sustainable housebuilder – building homes which have a positive environmental, social and economic impact today and into the future.”

Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “All the signs in Barratt’s results are that the housing market remains robust.

“Average selling prices are climbing again, more than offsetting a 4-5% increase in build costs, while forward sales are some 20.4% ahead of pre-pandemic levels.

“With coronavirus related costs fading into the background underlying profits are growing once again.

“Despite the progress the market seems disappointed with the results, and we suspect that’s down to limited detail about additional shareholder returns.

“The group exited the last financial year with over £1.3bn in net cash.

“A good portion of that is earmarked for helping the group reach 20,000 completions a year, but with land purchases already approaching that level that still leaves some surplus.

“Still, with a dividend yield north of 5%, profits back on track and end markets that look robust despite the recent housing boom, Barratt’s weathered the storm well, coming out of the pandemic with solid foundations on which to build.”

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