Irish/UK housing developer triples pre-tax loss in first half of 2009

Housing developer McInerney Holdings Group suffered a pre-tax loss of €170.9m (£150m) in the first six months of 2009, the firm revealed today.

This was more than triple the loss of €53.6m (£47.1m) posted by the Ireland and UK based developer for the same period a year earlier.

The loss included a €156m (£137m) impairment charge based on devaluation of the group's land holdings. This followed a €110m writedown near the end of 2008.

The group's operating loss for the first half of 2009 was €12.8m (£11.2m), down from €22.1m (£19.4m) a year earlier. McInerney attributed this loss to lower volume housing output, and lower product prices in Ireland and the UK.

Total unit completions amounted to 342 for the first half of the year, compared with 423 in the same period a year ago.

Restructuring and “strong action” had been taken by the board, the firm said in a statement, in a bid to help weather the downturn.

Chairman Ned Sullivan said: “The autumn selling season this year will be particularly significant in providing an indication of the condition of our key housing markets.

“The timing and rate of recovery in the housing market will be dependent on a wider improvement in the economic conditions in Ireland and the UK together with a tangible increase in the supply of mortgages,” he added. “In the UK there are signs of some market recovery albeit from a low base.”