How construction companies fared in the City in the week to 11 December 2000
It is a sad fact of life that job losses go down well in the City. Which explains why analysts welcomed the decision to slash and burn at Wimpey Homes and McLean Homes (see opposite), the business Wimpey inherited from its innovative asset swap with Tarmac in 1996.

Peter Johnson, the housebuilder's new chief executive, has promised £15m in savings from the move – a figure that sector-watchers say is on the conservative side.

One analyst said: "He has come in and shown there are no sacred cows any more. What should have happened four years ago is now happening."

However, analysts warned that the real test for Johnson would come when the rationalisation policy is implemented. One was concerned about the prospect of yoking the bureaucratic culture at Wimpey with the more relaxed McLean approach.

Wimpey shares fell 12.5p to 145.5p on Monday, the day of the announcement.