Barratt Developments said it will not bring back its dividend until the "time is right" as the company reported that profit had nearly halved in the most recent financial year.

In the 12 months to June 30, pre-tax profit dropped 46% to £491.8 million on revenue of £3.42 billion, a 28% fall.

Barratt said the number of homes it had completed fell by 29% to 12,604 over the year, while it booked a £74.3 million cost tied to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Barratt chief executive David Thomas said: "While Covid-19 has had a significant impact on our results, our priority has been to keep our people safe, mitigate the effect of the pandemic on our business and be able to emerge from the crisis in a resilient position.

"Although uncertainties remain, all of our sites are operational, we are seeing very strong consumer demand and our robust financial position means we enter the new financial year with cautious optimism.

"We are now renewing our focus on our medium-term targets, on leading the industry in quality and service and on supporting jobs and economic growth by building the homes the country needs."

The cost of a house in the UK rose by a little over £3,000 in August as the property market hit new highs.

House-buyers have shrugged off continued uncertainty in the economy and social distancing to send the average price of a home to £224,123.

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The 2% rise in August of £3,188 wiped out the losses made earlier this year as the pandemic tore through the country, according to data from building society Nationwide.

It is also the highest rise in a single month since February 2004, when prices jumped 2.7%.

"The bounce-back in prices reflects the unexpectedly rapid recovery in housing market activity since the easing of lockdown restrictions," said Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner.

"This rebound reflects a number of factors. Pent-up demand is coming through, where decisions taken to move before lockdown are progressing.

"Behavioural shifts may also be boosting activity, as people reassess their housing needs and preferences as a result of life in lockdown.

"Our own research, conducted in May, indicated that around 15% of people surveyed were considering moving as a result of lockdown."

Consumer goods giant Unilever will replace 100% of the carbon derived from fossil fuels in its cleaning and laundry products with renewable or recycled carbon, the company has announced.

The company said the move would transform the sustainability of cleaning and laundry brands like OMO (Persil), Sunlight, Cif, and Domestos.

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Many cleaning and laundry products contain chemicals made from fossil fuel feedstocks, which are a non-renewable source of carbon.

Unilever says its move to renewable or recycled sources of carbon for these chemicals is a deliberate shift away from the fossil fuel economy.

The step is a component of Unilever's Clean Future programme designed to change the way its cleaning and laundry products are created, manufactured, and packaged.

The programme is aimed at helping Unilever deliver its pledge of net zero emissions from its products by 2039.

The chemicals used in the company's products make up the greatest proportion of its carbon footprint (46%) across their life cycle.

Therefore, by moving away from fossil fuel-derived chemicals in product formulations, the company will be able to reduce its carbon footprint.

It expects the initiative to reduce the carbon footprint of the product formulations by up to 20%.

Peter ter Kulve, Unilever's president of Home Care, said: "Clean Future is our vision to radically overhaul our business.

"As an industry, we must break our dependence on fossil fuels, including as a raw material for our products."

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