Wednesday preview: Barratt Developments expects double profits

House-builder Barratt Developments is expected to reveal on Wednesday double-digit pre-tax profits for the last half of 2012.

House-builder Barratt Developments is expected to reveal on Wednesday double-digit pre-tax profits for the last half of 2012.

In a trading update last month, the company said it anticipates profit before tax of £45m and revenues to remain unchanged at £950m.

Group operating profit is pegged at £80m, up by 31% on the prior year.

Net debt at the end of the year was £332m, down sharply £542.2m in the year before.

Chief Executive Mark Clare said: "This has been a good first half performance. Pre-tax profit has more than doubled, net debt was significantly lower than the prior year, and we have started the second half with a strong private forward order book up by over 35%.

"In addition, we have been investing for the future, successfully securing higher margin land both in the South-East and across the rest of the country that will drive further profit growth."

The group benefited from the UK's NewBuy and FirstBuy mortgage schemes during the Autumn which provides aid to new homeowners.

At time of the announcement, Jefferies reiterated its 'buy' rating and a price target of 250p.

"The key risk, in our view, is a deterioration in mortgage availability," the broker said.

"However, we expect mortgage supply to remain stable for the foreseeable future and initiatives such as NewBuy and FirstBuy to protect the group, in part, from any shocks in the market; so far, the funding for the lending scheme appears to be helping thaw mortgage supply across all loan to value bands."

INTERIMS

Barratt Developments, Clinigen Group

INTERIM EX-DIVIDEND DATE

Carclo, Casdon plc, Diageo, Downing Absolute Income VCT 2, Downing Distribution VCT 1, Downing Income VCT 3, Downing Income VCT 3 E Shs, Heath (Samuel) & Sons, Standard Life Equity Income Trust

QUARTERLY PAYMENT DATE

Merchants Trust

QUARTERLY EX-DIVIDEND DATE

Canaccord Financial Inc., Energy XXI (Bermuda) (Di)

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

Business Climate Indicator (EU) (10:00)

Crude Oil Inventories (US) (15:30)

Durable Goods Orders (US) (13:30)

Economic Sentiment Indicator (EU) (10:00)

GFK Consumer Confidence (GER) (07:00)

M3 Money Supply (EU) (09:00)

MBA Mortgage Applications (US) (12:00)

Pending Homes Sales (US) (15:00)

Retail Sales (GER) (07:00)

GMS

Surface Transforms

FINALS

Carillion, Centrica, Henderson Group, Interserve, Intu Properties, ITV, Molins, New Britain Palm Oil Ltd. (DI), Oxford Biomedica, Petrofac Ltd., Promethean World, SEGRO, Synectics, Weir Group

SPECIAL EX-DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

Beazley

EGMS

Open Joint Stock Company Nomos Bank GDR (REG S)

AGMS

Gooch & Housego, Image Scan Holdings, LXB Retail Properties, Manroy

UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

GDP (quarterly national accounts) (09:30)

Index of Services (09:30)

Charlie Beans IEA State of the Economy Conference 2013, London (09:20).

FINAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE

Baronsmead VCT 3, Baronsmead VCT 5, easyJet, Hazel Renewable Energy VCT 1, Hazel Renewable Energy VCT 2, LPA Group, Rights & Issues Inv Trust Capital Shares, Rights & Issues Inv Trust Income Shares, Silverdell, Zytronic

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