Writedowns of £604m drive loss but housebuilder says market has improved 'significantly'
Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey has made a pre-tax loss of £682m in the first six months of 2009 after writedowns of £604m.
Despite the loss, the company said the housing market had improved “significantly” since the start of the year.
Turnover was down 28% from £1.56bn to £1.1bn and net debt stood at £1bn on 30 June, down from £1.7bn last year after a £510m rights issue in May.
Chief executive Pete Redfern said: “The last two years have been incredibly challenging for all housebuilders. However, with significant underlying improvements in our business and encouraging signs of stability in the UK and North America, the group is well positioned for the future.
“Although we will continue to focus on cash generation, our primary objective has now returned to creating value from existing and future sites.”
In the UK the company completed 4,702 units at an average selling price of £153,000, which compares with 6,317 units at an average price of £177,000 in 2008.
In April the company completed a protracted refinancing deal on its then £1.9bn debt-pile. It expects debt to fall to below £900m by the end of this year and says it is operating with “significant headroom” against the covenants agreed as part of the deal.