Housebuilder says it sold the greatest number of homes for the last six years in 2014 trading year

Mark Clare

Housebuilder Barratt is on course to double profit in its forthcoming annual results with profits of almost £400m, as the firm continues to benefit from the buoyant housing market.

It said in a trading statement today, ahead of full year results in September, that pre-tax profit is will reach approximately £390m compared to £192m in 2013, based on the greater number of sales and higher average prices.

Prices have been driven up both by the sale of larger homes, and by general house price inflation, Barratt said.

The firm added that it built nearly 15,000 homes in the year to June 2014, the largest number of for six years.

Barratt said that it registered 14,838 legal sales in the 2014 year, an increase of 8.6% on the year before. However, the number of forward sales registered for next year are currently running 28% ahead of 2014, at 6,280.

Barratt also said that it will reach its target of 18% return on capital employed two years early in 2014, and welcomed the recent proposals from the Bank of England to put limits on mortgage lending designed to stabilise the housing market.

Mark Clare, group chief executive said: “The market remains positive with strong demand for new homes across the country.  The land we have acquired in the last five years, together with our disciplined operating model is delivering a very strong business performance.”