Housebuilders bounce back in tough market


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Barratt Developments has made a return to profit for the first time in four years on a good day for the UK housebuilders as Galliford Try also posted solid full-year results. Barratt had full-year profits of £42.7m after losses of £33m a year earlier.

"We have made some considerable progress in rebuilding profitability – by optimising selling prices, improving operational efficiency and securing new higher margin land," Barratt's chief executive Mark Clare said. Its chairman Bob Lawson said it was "an important milestone" for the group. The housing market has remained constrained in the UK, he continued, particularly by the lack of adequate mortgage financing.

Pre-tax profit at Barratt's rival Galliford Try rose a third to £35.1m. Chief Executive Greg Fitzgerald said: "We exceeded our profit expectations during the year as growth in housebuilding accelerated in the second half, testimony to our strategic focus on southern England."