View more on these topics

Barratt reports half-year loss of almost £600m

Barratt Developments has posted a pre-tax loss of almost £600m for the second half of last year as it attempts to stay afloat in “an intensely difficult market.”

The housebuilder has reported a loss before tax and after costs of £592.4m, down from a profit of £194.6m for 2007.

Exceptional costs came to £512.4m including £494.9m in impairment charges.

Significant discounting has sent Barratt’s average selling price fall by £17,300 to £160,700 for 2008, from £178,000 the previous year.

But the company has made inroads into reducing its net debt.

It has cut its level of net debt by £315.7m since December 31 2007 to £1.4bn, compared to £1.7bn in 2007.

Mark Clare, group chief executive of Barratt Developments, says: “This remains an intensely difficult market with little forward visibility.”

Clare says there have been “some signs of increased activity” but adds: “There will be no recovery in the housing market until the availability of mortgage finance improves.

“So we are continuing to offer customers every possible assistance to move house, ranging from shared equity products to part exchange on their current home.”


A Day On The Rock

Yesterday was one of those mad PR days which were very enjoyable but lots of rushing about and talking till my throat dried up. The subject? Good old Northern Rock.

Time for a rethink on business model

Figures published recently by the Council of Mortgage Lenders which detail the number and value of mortgage advances in 2008 paint a stark picture of just what has happened to activity in the mortgage and housing markets.


Out from the long grass? An IT and NI merger

Those with a long memory will recall that at the start of the last parliamentary term George Osborne announced his intention to merge income tax (IT) and national insurance (NI).  Headline grabbing as the initiative was, the reality of the complexities, challenges and costs of such a move resulted in this idea being kicked into the political long grass.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up