UK’s largest housebuilder makes pre-tax profit of £367.7m and says it will create ten superdivisions to increase completion rate.

Barratt Developments had said it will be able to build 20,000 homes by 2010. The UK’s largest housebuilder completed 14,021 homes last year and said it had the capacity to produce another 6,000 units within six years.

The company posted a record pre-tax profit of £367.7m for the year to 30 June 2004, an increase of 27% on last year’s figure. Turnover also increased by 16% to £2,516m and the dividend was up 25% to 21.58p.

David Pretty, group chief executive said: “Through our network of existing divisions and the establishment of four new divisions, we will have the capacity to increase production towards 20,000 homes per annum.”

Barratt said it was aiming to expand ten of its most successful divisions into superdivisions with each capable of building 700 homes a year, mainly on large high-density brownfield sites.

The housebuilder said that it completed 11,000 homes on brownfield land in 2003, which represented 80% of all homes built. In London and the South East the figure rose to 95%.

Barratt said it was prepared to devote more resources to brownfield land and said that it was planning to undertake £5bn of urban regeneration projects over the next three years.

The company acquired 18.076 plots in 2003, which brought its land bank to over 56,000 sites representing four years’ growth at current volume.

The housebuilder was not deterred by the prospect of lower house price growth caused by higher interest rates. Pretty said: “The demand for new homes continues to be supported by geographically low interest rates, good employment levels and the continuing serious constraint on supply caused by delays within the planning system”

Pretty added: “We are financially strong and our fundamental strengths of geographic spread and product diversity, together with our land, planning and urban regeneration skills, give us confidence in achieving our 13th year of progress.”