Olympic Village developer warns Australian stock market that UK housing troubles will hit group profits

Australian property group Lend Lease has said its full-year profits after tax are likely to fall by almost half after a £58m writedown at its UK housing arm, Crosby Homes.

The group, which is developing London's Olympic Village, said yesterday that net profit would fall by 47% to A$265.4m (£124.9m) for the year to 30 June 2008.

In its statement to the Australian stock market, Lend Lease also said that it expected a decline of as much as 15% in net operating profits in the coming financial year, ending 30 June 2009.

It is the latest property group to be hit by steep falls in house prices following tougher lending conditions from banks.

But Lend Lease insisted it remained in a “strong” position. It said: “The group has low gearing, strong positive cash flows and cash on hand in excess of A$800m [£377m] as at 30 June 2008, which provides Lend Lease with significant capacity to fund its investment pipeline and future growth opportunities.

“The corporation will continue to focus on creating long term shareholder value by leveraging its strong financial position.”