Bovis profits dive in 'toughest' market

Housebuilder Bovis Homes said today it was braced for further tough conditions after reporting a 80 per cent slump in half-year profits.

The group's pre-tax surplus for the six months to June came in at £9.5m, down from £58.4m for the previous year, after what it described as its toughest trading period as a public company.

Revenues were down 43 per cent at £149.3m, driven by a 32 per cent drop in house sales to 851. This trend worsened since the half year end, the company added, with completions down 39 per cent during the year to 22 August.

The firm said: "The group considers that the current difficult trading environment will continue for the foreseeable future with continued poor mortgage liquidity limiting housing market activity."

As signalled by the firm in July, Bovis said staff numbers at its offices and on-site were 40 per cent down from the start of this year.

The company is the second major UK housebuilder to report interims this month, after Persimmon last week which unveiled a 64 per cent profits slump.