Britain's biggest housebuilder Barratt Developments today reported higher annual pretax profit, benefiting from increased margins and higher home sales in the face of a tough real estate market. 

UK housebuilders have been pressured against the backdrop of a rising no-deal Brexit scenario as the sector is dependent on the performance of the domestic economy. 

Barratt on its part has been trying to cut costs by changing the design of the houses it builds and reducing exposure to central London in order to focus on outer parts of the city where houses are more affordable for many Britons. 

"Whilst there is increased economic and political uncertainty, we begin the new financial year with a strong forward order book, balance sheet and cash position", the company's chief executive David Thomas said. 

The company said pretax profit rose 8.9% to £909.8m for the period ended June 30. Barratt also declared a special dividend of 17.3 pence. 

Barratt, founded in 1958, said it sold 17,856 homes compared to 17,579 homes, last year. 

The company also said its gross margin rose 22.8% compared to 20.7% reported last year, as it welcomed the UK government's extension of Help to Buy until 2023. 

Barratt reiterated that it expects to grow volumes towards the lower end of its medium term target range in 2020.