Downturn in housebuilding market pushes materials firm into the red in 2008

Building supplies group Heywood Williams swung to a pre-tax loss of £2.3m in 2008 amid “extremely tough” conditions in the residential market.

In its results for the year to 31 December, the firm said the severe economic downturn had caused the firm to record a loss, following a £9.1m profit in 2007. Turnover fell 12% to £219.2m, down from £250.5m the previous year.

The firm said its key objectives for 2009 were to ensure that the group operated within its banking covenants and to implement a “more appropriate” long-term capital structure.

Chief executive Robert Barr said: “Residential building products markets around the world had a very tough 2008 and conditions are expected to worsen in 2009.

“The group's priority over the medium term is to manage its balance sheet and maximise cash generation in order to weather the current difficult market conditions and be well positioned for the subsequent market upturn.”