Barratt Developments yearly pretax profit rises

Barratt Developments PLC (BDEV.LN) said Wednesday that it expects pretax profit to increase around 9.1% in fiscal 2018 and said that year-end net cash was ahead of expectations

The U.K. housebuilder said that it sees pretax profit for the year ended June 30 around 835 million pounds ($1.11 billion) compared with GBP765.1 million the previous year. AJ Bell’s Russ Mould says that analysts were expecting a profit of around GBP811 million.

Barratt said its regional business had performed particularly well, driving an improvement in operating margin to around 17.7% from 17.2% the previous-year.

The company said that total completions–a figure that includes joint ventures–were 17,579, which it said represents the highest figure in ten years. The average selling price of its houses on completion rose by around 5% to GBP289,000.

Total forward sales, including joint ventures, as of June 30 stood at around GBP2.18 billion.

The home builder said that, as a result of strong trading and in particular a better-than-expected performance in Central London, the company had a net cash balance of around GBP790 million as of June 30–ahead of guidance.

It said it will publish its full-year results on Sept. 5.

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