Loss-maker Lovell on the mend

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The Independent Online
YJ LOVELL, the construction company rescued by a debt-for-equity swap and capital injection last December, remained in the red in the six months to March, but Bob Sellier, chief executive, said the company had finally emerged from a traumatic period that almost led to its collapse, writes Tom Stevenson.

He warned, however, that margins in the core construction division remained tight and that residential sales during the past two months were running 25 per cent lower than at the start of the year.

The interim loss was reduced from pounds 3.9m to pounds 1.1m as trading returned to normal in the second quarter. In the year to last September losses reached pounds 60m.

In housing, prices rose by about 3 per cent during the second quarter, although there was an overall decline in the average selling price, thanks to a change in product mix.

In the US, Mr Sellier said interest rate rises and less attractive fixed-rate mortgage deals were a worry. But he thought sales of houses would be higher this year.

The 6.4p loss per share compared with a 47.2p deficit last time. There is no interim dividend but a final payout is promised.