Bloomberg News

Barratt Reports Best Spring Selling Season in Five Years

May 10, 2012

Barratt Developments Plc (BDEV), the U.K.’s largest homebuilder by volume, said the company had its best spring selling season in five years as reservations and prices increased. The shares rose the most since Feb. 28.

Net private reservations rose 25.3 percent in the 18 weeks through May 6 compared with a year earlier, the London-based company said today in a statement. The average selling price for private homes gained 5 percent.

U.K. homebuilders are widening profit margins by focusing more on houses and developing low-cost land bought during the recession that ended in 2009. Spring is generally the strongest season of the year for homebuilders and the period is seen as a guide to their full-year performance.

“We have had our strongest spring selling season for five years,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Clare said in the statement. “We’re ahead on achieving our objectives of improving profitability and reducing net debt.”

Barratt increased its estimate for full-year completions by 600 homes to 12,600. The value of private forward sales increased 16.1 percent from a year earlier, the company said.

The homebuilder expects net debt to total 275 million pounds ($444 million) by June 30, about 75 million pounds below its previous forecast.

Barratt climbed 5.4 percent to 126.4 pence in London. The shares have advanced 36 percent this year, raising the company’s market value to 1.23 billion pounds.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ross Larsen in London at Rlarsen2@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net.


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