Housebuilder Barratt’s profits soar

HELLO and welcome to the AM Business Briefing, as housebuilding giant Barratt Developments posted annual profits soaring nearly two-thirds higher, and the Gym Group hailed its “rapid recovery” in membership numbers after reopening sites following enforced closures.

It came as the gym company, which operates 190 sites across the UK, posted a £19.4 million operating loss for the half-year to June. The firm raised £31 million from investors to help drive its post-pandemic growth plans, with seven new gyms including one in Perth.

Also today, Diageo is launching its eight-floor whisky experience tourist attraction in Edinburgh, and in Business Voices Gillian MacLellan discusses bespoke menopause policies.

Housebuilding giant hails profit hike

Barratt Developments has seen annual profits soar nearly two-thirds higher, but revealed rising build costs and a dip in recent buyer demand following the stamp duty deadline south of Border.

Barratt posted a 65.1% surge in pre-tax profits to £812.2 million for the year to June 30 as completions jumped 36.8% to 17,243.

It said sales were catching up with pre-pandemic levels, with completions just 3.4% below 2019, although profits remain 10.7% below those seen two years ago.

The group said since the year end, which also marked the end of the full stamp duty relief, private reservations were 11.7% below those seen in the full-year, at 0.83 per active outlet per average week.

Barratt said: “It should be highlighted that the prior year comparative was a particularly active period, reflecting both pent-up demand following the national lockdown, as well as increased Help to Buy reservation activity ahead of the changes which would remove access to Help to Buy for existing homeowners.”

Johnnie Walker Edinburgh whisky experience launches

Diageo’s new eight-floor Johnnie Walker Princes Street visitor experience in Edinburgh is launched today.

The site is the centrepiece of Diageo’s £185 million pound investment in Scotch whisky tourism in Scotland, which is claimed to be the “largest single investment programme of its kind seen in Scotch whisky tourism”.

Gillian MacLellan: Bespoke menopause policies appearing

Opinion: The impact that menopause symptoms can have on women at work is slowly being recognised by employers and the government.

Did you know that menopausal women are the fastest-growing demographic in the workplace? Yet, as a society we have been very slow to acknowledge the disadvantage women can face at work because of this.

If you have been forwarded this article and would like to sign up, or view our new range of newsletters, click below:​

HeraldScotland: Herald Newsletter daily banner

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992