Housebuilder Wilson Connolly claims its strategic shift to traditional housebuilding is already showing signs of profitability, despite a drop in the firm's pre-tax profits.
Chief executive Graeme McCallum said increased profit would come through in the second half of 2002. The firm plans to double operating profits to 15% by the end of 2004.

McCallum, who decided to halve the group's timber frame output following a strategic review at the start of the year, said: "The changes we have made are already impacting on profitability. There will be more to come in the second half of the year."

The firm's pre-tax profits dropped by £3.8m to £19.1m for the six months to 30 June 2002; turnover grew by £19m to £340m over the period.

The changes are already impacting on profitability

Graeme McCallum

The firm said that profits had fallen because last year it made one-off gains from the sale of Scottish sites when it pulled out of the region.

McCallum said the group would make more savings than it expected from a review of its procurement. The review, which started in February, has saved the firm £2.5m and has only covered one-third of the group's spending – the original saving target was £3.5m. McCallum said: "We are expecting it to be rather higher than that target."