Post-Brexit, builder Barratt could shift some production back to UK

A company logo is seen on the side of a house at a Barratt Homes housing development near Preston, Britain, October 9, 2017. REUTERS/Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's biggest housebuilder Barratt is considering moving production of blocks used in construction from Germany to Britain, an example of steps some businesses are taking to mitigate against any risk from Brexit.

London and Brussels hope to agree a deal this month which will protect free trade, including the movement of goods, between Britain and the European Union until at least the end of 2020 but many firms are developing contingency plans.

Barratt said around 90 percent of its materials are sourced domestically but it was in talks on moving production of the large format blocks, which are used in the construction process and at the moment come from overseas.

"We're currently having a discussion with the supplier about whether production can come from the UK rather than directly from Germany," Chief Executive David Thomas told Reuters.

Thomas also said Barratt was investing in developing skills in Britain, including a programme to employ former army personnel.

The firm said on Wednesday it would meet full-year expectations after reporting a 6.8 percent rise in half-year pre-tax profit to 342.7 million pounds as the number of homes it built rose 2 percent in the last six months of 2017.

(Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Keith Weir)