Barratt Developments (BDEV.L) has recovered to pre-COVID levels as the housebuilder saw pre-tax profit jump 14.7% to a record £1.05bn ($1.21bn) and revenues up 9.5% at £5.27bn.
Barratt announced a £200m share buyback programme that would start shortly, with an initial tranche of £50m to be completed by the end of the calendar year and the total programme completed no later than June 30, 2023.
The FTSE 100 company said it had made "excellent" progress in a year of strong housing demand as completions increased 3.9% to 17,908.
“This has been a year of fantastic progress, with completions recovering to pre-pandemic levels and excellent productivity across our sites,” David Thomas, chief executive of Barratt Developments, said.
"The strength of new housing demand, as well as years of under supply, underpin the government's ongoing target to build 300,000 new homes each year. We are well positioned to deliver the high-quality, energy-efficient and sustainable developments needed across the UK," the company added.
Based on current market conditions, Barratt is targeting total home completion growth of 3% to 5% over the next 12 months, to between 18,400 and 18,800 homes.
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However, there are signs that the property market is cooling amid the cost of living crisis. The number of the company’s homes being reserved by buyers each week has fallen and is now below pre-pandemic levels. Barratt also admitted that it now expects house price growth to moderate.
“We recognise that significant macroeconomic uncertainties remain, most notably around inflation, energy costs and interest rates, and their impacts on UK economic growth, employment, and consumer confidence and spending,” Thomas added.
The housebuilder said it was on track to meet volume output target for fiscal 2023.
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