UK earnings round-up: Barratt sales benefit from Help to Buy

on Nov 13, 2013
Updated: Oct 21, 2019
Listen, Wednesday, November 13: A number of UK companies have released interim statements today including J Sainsbury Plc, which posted H1 profit at the top end of expectations together with an increase in sales (Sainsbury’s share price up on H1 profit rise).

The UK’s second biggest REIT, British Land (LON:BLND), reported a 6.6 percent rise in first-half profit and said it was encouraged by the indicators across its markets (UK REIT watch: British Land posts rise in H1 profit).
Other UK companies that released interim statements today include power generating company Drax Group Plc (LON:DRX), residential property developer Barratt Developments Plc (LON:BDEV) and business information and media group Centaur Media.

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**Barratt Developments**
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Barratt Developments, the UK’s largest house-builder by volume, reported upbeat results with rises in reservations and sales across all six of its operating regions in the 19 weeks to November 10. The group said net private reservations per site per week increased 32 percent from a year earlier, while forward sales were up 47 percent to £1.13 billion. The strong performance demonstartes that the company has clearly benefited from the government’s Help to Buy scheme.

Barratt’s chief executive Mark Clare said: “The market remains strong, driven by better lending conditions and improving customer confidence; we are increasing production and investment for the future.”
Analysts expect the company will deliver full-year pre-tax profits of between £295.6 million and £359 million, according to Thomson Reuters’ data.

Despite the robust performance, Barratt’s share price was nearly five percent lower at 311.80p as of 13:52 UTC
British power producer, Drax Group said that trading conditions had remained strong in recent months and raised its forecasts for the full-year. The group said it expected full-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and earnings per share excluding exceptional items to be “materially ahead of current market consensus forecasts.”

The consensus currently stands at £203 million for full-year EBITDA and 27p for underlying EPS.
As of 14:02 Drax’s share price was up three percent to 656p and was one of the biggest risers of the FTSE 250 in a difficult day so far for equity markets.

**Centaur Media**
Centaur Media said that revenue increased by six percent in the four-month period to October 31, bolstered by new event launches and continuing growth across the digital and paid for content products. Digital and events revenue accounted for 71 percent of its total revenue during the period, compared with 68 percent a year earlier. Print revenue accounted for 28 percent, compared with 31 percent in the same period last year.
Earlier this month Andria Vidler, the former chief executive of EMI Music UK & Ireland, was appointed as the new chief executive officer of Centaur, replacing Geoff Wilmot.
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