Delay on dividend hits Barratt shares

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Shares in Barratt Developments fell almost 7 per cent yesterday to 158.8p as it said it would resume paying a dividend next year, not this.

Barratt's profits soared 159 per cent to £111m in the year to June, with completed sales up from 11,078 to 12,637 and average prices on private homes up 1.5 per cent to £201,800.

But Mark Clare, the chief executive, said the builder needed to continue investing in new land and reducing the debt on its balance sheet before it could start paying a sizeable dividend to shareholders. The company last paid a dividend in 2008.