Pre-tax profits down to £45.1m as housebuilder suffers from market slowdown.

Bovis Homes suffered a £20m profits hit for the first half of the year as it suffered from the slowdown in the housing market.

The group’s pre-tax profits fell to £45.1m from £66.8m in the same period last year. The company suffered from a downturn in completions and a drop in average sales prices.

In a statement, the company said that it hoped to bounce back from the drop in the second half, but that much would depend on consumer confidence. The statement said: “Activity in the UK housing market relies heavily on the confidence of the consumer. Consumers are displaying more caution, with many delaying the decision to move house. After a weak fourth quarter of 2004 in terms of housing activity and a quiet start in the first quarter of 2005, the housing market remained subdued during the second quarter of 2005.”

Legal completions dropped to 1,089 homes from 1,302 at the halfway stage a year earlier. At the same time, a move towards smaller, more affordable homes meant the average sales prices for the period was £179,000, compared with £201,100 for the same six months of 2004.