New CEO identifies improvements which will “provide greater focus”

Greg Fitzgerald, Bovis’ new chief executive, has acknowledged the group has to improve build quality across its estate and says he has identified areas within the business which can be “streamlined”.

Speaking as the group gave an update on trading, Fitzgerald said the business had recognised it had had quality issues around a number of its recently-built properties: “The clear focus for 2017 is on improving our production processes and efficiency thereby ensuring we deliver quality homes to our customers.

“By the end of June I will have visited all our developments and met the majority of our people; we have already identified improvements to streamline the business, provide greater focus and be more agile.”

Fitzgerald is expected to give an update on his strategic review when the group announces its half-year numbers on 7 September.

After rushing to complete a number of houses before the end of last year, a move which led to buyers complaining about the quality of homes they moved into, Bovis said it had lowered its expected completion rate by between 10% and 15% for the full year.

Its build programme for the year to date is expected to deliver around 1,500 completions for the first six months of 2017.

Bovis also announced it is to pay its advisors around £2.8m for work around rebuffing tilts at the company by two rivals, earlier this year.

The housebuilder said it would be paying the one-off fee after Galliford Try and Redrow launched unsuccessful takeover efforts in March.