Housebuilders' results set to spread gloom

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The Independent Online

Taylor Wimpey and Bovis Homes are expected to report dire half-year results this week.

MF Global Securities has forecast pre-tax profit of £60m at Taylor Wimpey, down 76 per cent on the first six months of last year. Bovis is expected to slump 60 per cent to £18m.

Andrew Gardner, MF's housebuilding analyst, said that the market hoped for an update on Taylor Wimpey's attempts to renegotiate with its banks to avoid breaching its covenants next February. However, Mr Gardner said there was little indication that a deal was any closer than when existing backers failed to bail the builders out last month.

Kevin Cammack, an analyst at Kaupthing, said that "it will be a tough old message from Taylor Wimpey and Bovis". He thought companies were unlikely to call the bottom of the housing market, as Persimmon seemed to do in its results last week.

Costain also reports interims on Wednesday, looking to build on 2007's performance that saw it pay its first dividend in 17 years.