Barratt ramps up recruitment as profit soars
Barratt ramps up recruitment as profit soars to £120m
Barratt is stepping up its apprentice recruitment programme as it gears up to deliver more homes into the inflating housing market.
The firm retained its crown as Britain’s biggest builder as home completions in its first six months jumped 19% to 6,195.
Revenue rose by a third to £1.26bn as pre-tax profits rocketed up from £46m to £120m.
The turnover in the housing market has changed the business with staff levels up 13% to 5,358 and the number of subcontractors on the firm’s books rising from around 10,000 six months ago to 12,500.
Mark Clare, Group Chief Executive of Barratt Developments said: “To help the group address the skill shortage in the building industry, in 2013, we set out to recruit 600 apprentices, graduates and trainees over a three year period.
“We have made rapid progress and are likely to meet the target within the first two years of our scheme.
“We now aim to recruit around 1,100 apprentices, graduates and trainees over the next three years,” he said.”
Clare added: “Our momentum has continued into 2014 with sales rates well above last year and forward sales of £1.7bn.”
Operating margin rose from 8.5% to 11%, helped by average selling prices breaking through the £200,000 mark to £211,200, up 14% on a year ago, helped by more flats in London and a greater number of family homes around the country.
Barratt said it continued to see excellent opportunities in the land market and had approved the acquisition of 11,394 plots, a 22.3% increase on the prior year.
Buying new land and completing older sites has transformed its land bank. Now 79% of Barratt’s owned and controlled land bank plots were acquired since re-entering the land market in 2009, with less than 5% of plots on impaired old land.
At 62,644 plots the land bank represents 4.4 years supply.
First published on Construction Enquirer 27.02.14