- House builder Barratt Developments booked a 19% rise in first-half profit as it completed more homes and strengthened its margins.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through December rose to £408.0m, as revenue climbed 7.2% to £2.13bn.

The company declared an interim dividend of 9.6p per share, up 11.6% on-year.

Total completions rose 4.1% to 7,622, while gross margin expanded by 200 basis points to 22.6%.

Net private reservations, however, dropped to 0.64 per active outlet per week, down from 0.68 on-year.

'The group has delivered a strong operational and financial performance across the half year,' chief executive David Thomas said.

'Whilst we continue to monitor market conditions closely, current trading is in line with our expectations and we are confident of delivering a good financial and operational performance in the full year.'

At 8:14am: [LON:BDEV] Barratt Developments PLC share price was +10.3p at 556.7p

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