Barratt reports fall in completions
Housebuilder Barratt Developments has issued its first half trading update, delivering a mixed picture.
The firm, which is one of the largest housebuilders by volume, said completions fell to 4,832 units from 5,053 in the first half, as private completions dropped.
Revenues were unchanged at £875 million but its operating margin grew to 5% from 2.4% in the same period a year earlier.
Shares in the firm, which have lost 30% in value over the last year, closed at 94.90p yesterday, valuing the company at £889.9 million.
Commenting on its update, Barratt said: “Whilst the Group will benefit from the opening of approximately 110 sites during the second half of FY 2010/11, we anticipate that any volume growth for the year will be limited.”
The figures come shortly after Persimmon said sales activity fell by 50% in December due to the bad weather, but added it had been an encouraging start to the year.
Persimmon reported a considerable increase in underlying profits for 2010 after turnover rose by 10% to £1.57 billion.
Furthermore, completions were up to 9,384 in 2010 – compared with 8,976 the previous year.
Many experts have predicted that the housing market will remain subdued in 2011, due to uncertainty surrounding the economy and the ongoing mortgage rationing by lenders.