LONDON -- Barratt Developments (LSE:BDEV) in its interim results this morning announced that its pre-tax profit is expected to be around 45 million pounds, more than double the previous year.

It revealed group revenues of about 950 million pounds, which is in line with the prior year, while net debt as of 31 December 2012 of around 332 million pounds was significantly down from H1 2011's position of 542.2 million pounds. Group operating profit is expected to be up 31% to around 80 million pounds for the period.

Group chief executive Mark Clare commented:

This has been a good first half performance... we have started the second half with a strong private forward order book up by over 35%. In addition, we have been investing for the future, successfully securing higher margin land both in the South-East and across the rest of the country that will drive further profit growth.

However, excluding joint ventures, total completions for the period were 5,085 units -- down 5,117 from the same period last year. Private completions rose 5.3% to 4,241 units against 4,028 in H1 2011, although social-housing completions totaled 844 units in contrast to the prior year's figure of 1,089.

This marginal drop-off in completion numbers may have led to the share price dipping in early trade this morning, down 1.5% (3.50 pence) at the time of writing to 223 pence.

The homebuilding sector is cyclical: when the market is on a bull run, and the economy looks like it's making a good recovery, then companies like Barratt prosper. If you are keen to benefit likewise, this free Motley Fool report explains how tracking down small, dynamic companies is a vital step on the path to the magic million milestone. Click here to get it completely free.

Sam does not own shares in Barratt Developments. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.