Housebuilder becomes latest to issue gloomy forecast for 2008, predicting 29% drop in pre-tax profit

Bovis Homes has become the fourth housebuilder this week to issue a gloomy financial forecast for 2008 ahead of its full results on 10 March.

Following downbeat figures from Redrow, Persimmon and Miller, it said reservations at 31 December 2007 were 19% down on the previous year against a backdrop of declining consumer confidence.

As a result Dresdner Kleinwort has cut its pre-tax profit forecast for 2008 by 29% to £123.6m and for 2009 by 34% to £132.6m.

Despite the slowdown, the group said it expects pre-tax profit for 2007 to be “broadly in line with the current average of analysts’ forecasts.”

The current consensus is £127.6m pre-tax profit on £583.4m turnover.

The average sale price in 2007 dropped from £183,700 to £179,400.

Bovis said the outlook for 2008 was unclear and that the spring selling season would be a guide to its progress during the year