Housebuilder posts strong full year results but warns of tougher times ahead

Barratt chief executive Mark Clare warned this week that there is likely to be downward pressure on housing volumes and price inflation as the credit crunch takes its toll on the market.

Clare was speaking as Barratt, the UK’s second largest housebuilder following its takeover of Wilson Bowden earlier this year, posted strong full year results. The company reported a pre-tax profit rise of 16% to £454.0m before restructuring costs, and a rise of 9.3% once these costs were included. Completions increased 17.6% to 17,168.

Clare said that the company had made good progress despite challenging market conditions, but warned of a tightening market in 2007/8 because of recent interest rate rises and the credit crunch. He said: “It is not yet clear how quickly the market will recover… but the market fundamentals remain strong.”