Swift exit for Barratt CFO

Housebuilder announces departure of Neil Cooper 'with immediate effect'

Barratt Developments, the country’s biggest housebuilder, has announced the abrupt departure of its chief financial officer, Neil Cooper.

The firm informed the stock exchange of the news late last night, adding that chief exec David Thomas will take be taking the reins until a replacement is found.

The former Bovis FD joined in November 2015 from William Hill; the FT is reporting that Thomas told analysts at Credit Suisse, the house broker, that Cooper’s departure was “a mutual agreement by both parties and was based purely on a lack of cultural fit”, and that he’ll continue on his £450k salary for the next 12 months.

The company turned in a pretty strong set of results last week, with pre-tax profits on course for a 7% year-on-year uplift, although the London market is proving decidedly tricksy. The management team confirmed that some apartments had been offloaded “in bulk” as it continues to “take pricing action” at a number of sites in the capital.

In the statement last night, chairman John Allan said: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Neil for his contribution during his time with us and we wish him well for the future.”

The missive added that the firm is “well on track for the full year”.