Developer reveals extent of financial woes as moves are taken to preserve cash

Quintain Estates & Development has announced its intention to slash costs in the face of deteriorating conditions in the UK property market.

It plans a 10% reduction in overheads, cutting over half of the jobs at its Wembley (London) division and reducing running costs at its Greenwich Peninsula Regeneration company by £4.1m.

As well as reducing its headcount at Wembley from 29 to 13, it confirmed that it is looking for an equity partner to help fund its Wembley development.

Adrian Wyatt
Wyatt: "measures that will protect Quintain's interests should a further significant decline occur"

Adrian Wyatt, chief executive of Quintain, said: “The board has adopted measures that will protect Quintain's interests should a further significant decline occur and ensure the group will be positioned to exploit opportunities when markets recover.”

Quintain also promised to be less hasty on green-lighting new developments, saying they will only be taken forward “when a predetermined level of sales or lettings have been secured”.

It has only four projects under construction: two residential blocks at Wembley, one scheduled to complete this month and the other in March 2010; commercial buildings at Greenwich Peninsula, due to complete next spring; and One Brighton, a 172-unit residential scheme in the South-east of England.

Although Quintain has planning consent for further schemes in Wembley, Greenwich Peninsula and Birmingham, it declined to give a start date for any of them, saying only that they would “provide significant value opportunities when the market recovers”. The company also announced that it will not be making dividend payments until 2010.