Housebuilder turnover falls £450m but forward order book is up on 2008

National housebuilder Bellway suffered a loss before tax of £36.6m in 2009, the group revealed today.

The news was released in the group’s preliminary results for the year ending 31 July 2009, which showed the group turnover slashed from almost £1,150.5m in 2008 to just under £700m in 2009.

Completed sales of homes dropped by over 2000, with the firm selling just over 6,500 homes in 2008, compared with just over 4,000 this year.

Meanwhile, the average price also slumped to around £154,000, from almost £170,000 in 2008m.

However, the group said it had secured a forward order book at 30 September of £349.4m – up from the £342m it secured in 2008.

In January Bellway wrote down the value of its land by £66.3m. It said that further write downs were not necessary in the second half as markets had stabilised.

Commenting on the results, chairman Howard Dawe said: “In the summer of 2008 the ghosts of the last major recession loomed large. The primary strategy was simply to repeat the lessons learnt in previous downturns, make cash generation a priority and also sell homes at positive margins throughout the financial year.”