Barratt builds single IT platform after major acquisition

Barratt Developments said today its integration of Wilson Bowden, which it bought in February, is ahead of schedule, and it is about to embark on rolling out a combined IT platform across the whole business.

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Barratt Developments said today its integration of Wilson Bowden, which it bought in February, is ahead of schedule, and it is about to embark on rolling out a combined IT platform across the whole business.

The housebuilder, which was announcing half-year profits up 16% to £454m, said progress with the integration had been “stronger than expected” in the six months since the acquisition.

And Mark Clare, the firm’s group chief executive, said the roll-out of the common IT platform was on schedule to start next month and run until June next year.

Savings arising from the integration were also ahead of expectations, he said, with at least £30m expected to be saved within 12 months of the acquisition, rising to at least £60m in the second year.

In the first six months of the year Barratt incurred one-off restructuring costs of £26.2m, with the figure including the cost of systems harmonisation. Further restructuring costs are expected next year, particularly "on the systems side”, but the firm is sticking by its original restructuring estimate of £35m all told.

Alongside rolling out a single core platform, Barratt said in its latest corporate social responsiblity report that it is in the process of implementing a wide area network that will make possible the establishment of other group-wide systems including human resources.

It highlighted the move to a group-wide HR system as crucial to helping it improve its current high levels of staff turnover.

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