Barratt Developments has issued its latest trading statement from 1 January to 5 May 2019, revealing the outlook for the year is above the board’s expectations
The group revealed it has delivered a strong performance since the start of the calendar year with good customer demand for new homes supported by a stable market backdrop.
Overall Barratt Developments’ net private reservation rate for the period was strong at 0.79 (2018: 0.80) per active outlet per average week.
During the period, the group operated from 388 (2018: 388) outlets (including JVs) per average week. It has also launched 47 (2018: 33) new developments in the period (including JVs), and continues to expect average active outlet numbers for the full year to be similar to last year.
Barratt Developments also revealed it is making good progress on its medium-term targets. The group continues to focus on driving margin improvements through the business, which are expected to deliver a modest improvement to the board’s previous expectations this financial year.
David Thomas, chief executive of Barratt Developments, said: “This has been another strong period for the Group. As Britain’s largest housebuilder we remain firmly committed to delivering industry-leading build quality and customer service and we are proud to have been awarded 5 stars for customer satisfaction for ten years in a row.
“Trading since the beginning of the year has been strong, the outlook for the year is modestly ahead of our previous expectations and we are encouraged by our continued progress in driving operating efficiencies through the business.
“Whilst we continue to monitor the market closely, we are confident of delivering a good financial and operational performance in FY19.”
To improve its cost profile, Barratt says it has made further refinements to its new housing ranges this financial year, without affecting the quality or design standards. The group will continue to roll these ranges out across the business. The new house-type ranges are suitable for modern methods of construction (MMC). The firm continues to develop, trial and implement MMC and aim to use it in the construction of 20% of its homes by 2020.
Cash generation remains strong and Barratt continues to expect year end net cash (2) to be c. £600m – £650m.
Its total forward sales (including JVs) as at 5 May 2019 were up 2.4% on the prior year comparable at a value of £3,365.1m (6 May 2018: £3,286.7m), equating to 14,181 units (6 May 2018: 13,655 units).