Housebuilder Barratt's profit has risen by almost a quarter over the past year, allowing it to shrug off fears of an economic downturn.

Barratt, best known for volume building and its house exchange policy, said it was not interested in the consolidation going on elsewhere in the sector.

Seven of the top 12 housebuilders, including Wimpey, Persimmon and Bryant, have been involved in takeovers and mergers in the past year. But Barratt chairman Frank Eaton said: "Our successful track record in securing our land stocks and developing the business organically means that we have no requirement to purchase a landbank via company acquisitions, thereby avoiding associated risks."

Pre-tax profit rose 24% to £178.4m in the year to 30 June.

The company said its success was mainly because of the strength of the housing market in the south of England. The number of houses completed by Barratt rose 6% to 11,310, and the average selling price increased 13% to £127,400.

The company said despite extensive planning delays, its land teams had been able to secure 14,710 plots over the past 12 months, taking its land stock up to 35,100 – equivalent to three years' production.

Eaton added that with forward sales standing at a record £480m at the beginning of the financial year, Barratt would be well placed to maintain progress.