Housebuilder Barratt today said it more than doubled profits in the second half of last year. The Bardon group made a pre-tax profit of £46.1 million in the six months to December 31, compared to £21.6 million in the same period of 2011. Barratt, which owns David Wilson Homes, said it had an order book worth £1.1 billion. Chief executive Mark Clare said soaring profits were partly the result of mortgage finance schemes aimed at boosting the housing sector. "While the availability of mortgage finance remains the key constraint to industry growth, we have started to see some improvements," he said. "NewBuy, which enables customers to borrow at 90 per cent to 95 per cent loan to value ratios, is in place and is working well. "Expectations are that mortgage lending should increase in 2013, supported by the Bank of England's Funding for Lending Scheme. We are on track to deliver around half of our full year completions from higher margin land and, combined with our ongoing focus on driving efficiency across the group, we expect to deliver a significant improvement in performance for the financial year." Revenue fell slightly from £952.8 million to £951.1 million during the half-year period, but the company saw a 5.3 per cent rise in the number of properties it sold, to 4,241 units. The main reason for the surge in profits is because Barratt, like many of its competitors, is benefiting from land purchases made at the bottom of the market at height of the recession.
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