HOUSE builder Barratt says profits more than doubled in the first half of its financial year.
The Newcastle company, which was updating the market ahead of its interim figures for the six months to December 31, said it pre-tax profits were expected to be around £45m. Sales are set to come in a round £950m, on a par with the previous year.
Mark Clare, Group Chief Executive, said: “This has been a good first half performance. Pre-tax profit has more than doubled, net debt was significantly lower than the prior year, and we have started the second half with a strong private forward order book up by over 35%.
“In addition, we have been investing for the future, successfully securing higher margin land both in the South East and across the rest of the country that will drive further profit growth.”
He said that while mortgage availability was the key constraint to industry growth, there had been improvements and Barratt expects that mortgage lending should increase this year, supported by the Bank of England's Funding for Lending Scheme.