Barratt Developments have a defined dividend policy with the Group paying an ordinary dividend cover of 2.5 times. They have previously announced that when market conditions allow, ordinary dividends will be supplemented with special returns. As previously announced the Board intends to pay a special return of £175m in November 2020. Demonstrating the Board's confidence in the business going forward, it now proposes to pay a further special return of £175m in November 2021.
The special returns proposed for November 2020 and November 2021, and any future special returns, may be made through share buybacks, special dividends or a combination of both.
Other financial highlights include:
Britain's largest housebuilder leading the industry in both build quality and customer service. Only major housebuilder to be awarded HBF 5 Star rating by customers for ten consecutive years
Highest half year home completions in 12 years with 8,314 total completions, up 9.1%, reflecting growth and a smoother delivery profile. On track for 3-5% growth in wholly owned completions in FY20
Adjusted operating margin of 19.4% (2018: 19.0%), driven by continued good progress from their margin initiatives. Operating margin was 18.6% (2018: 19.2%) after adjusted items costs of £17.8m (2018: adjusted items credit of £3.7m)
Land creditors as at 31 December reduced to £830.8m (2018: £961.8m), achieving targeted level, and continued effective cash generation, closing the half year with net cash of £433.8m (2018: £387.7m)
First UK housebuilder to set a science-based target to reduce carbon emissions in their operations by around a third from FY18 to FY25 in line with their ambition to be the leading national sustainable housebuilder