Saturday, August 15, 2020

Housebuilder to repay all furlough funds

Barratt Developments, the Leicestershire-headquartered housebuilder, is to repay all furlough funds it received in the business’s temporary closure due to its resilient financial position.

85% of employees were placed on furlough, using the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and now all employees, other than those shielding, have now returned from furlough.

Barratt said in a trading update: “We are grateful for the support that the Government has provided to UK businesses through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which allowed us to safeguard the jobs of our c. 6,700 employees during the height of the pandemic. However, our financial position has remained resilient; therefore, we will now repay all furlough funds received.”

All of Barratt’s operational sites were reopened by 30 June 2020.

The company’s completion volumes were significantly reduced by the lockdown period with 12,604 total homes, including joint ventures, completed during the year (2019: 17,856 homes).

Its forward order book, however, is strong with total forward sales (including JVs) as at 30 June 2020 of 14,326 homes (30 June 2019: 11,419 homes) at a value of £3,249.7m (30 June 2019: £2,604.1m)

David Thomas, Chief Executive, said: “Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Group was delivering a strong year of progress on both volume and margin. The pandemic has caused significant disruption, but our highly skilled and experienced team have shown incredible resilience, flexibility and commitment both through the peak of the crisis and in the careful reopening of our sites.

“Now, with our construction sites operational across the UK, we begin the new financial year with cautious optimism supported by our strong forward order book and our well capitalised balance sheet.”

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