Firm suspends sales in high-rise Florida tower division until market improves

Housebuilder Taylor Woodrow warned shareholders and the City this morning that it is set to take a £25m hit in its US business, mainly because of low sales volumes in its high-rise tower division in Florida.

Taylor Woodrow's Vasari beach club Florida

Taylor Woodrow, which is on the verge of a £5bn with Wimpey to create the UK’s largest housebuilder, also said that it had made as £16.6m provision associated with a legal dispute in Florida which is expected to rumble on for months.

Its high rise business in Florida is so bad that the company has suspended its sales efforts until the market has improved, and as a result has taken a £15.5m hit relating to its land holdings.

A further £9.5m write down has been made to account for other weaknesses in the Florida market as well as Southern California.

Speaking at Taylor Woodrow’s annual general meeting today chief executive Ian Smith said: “We remain cautious in the land market across North America and have reduced our level of spend compared to last year.

“Overall, the strength of our performance in the UK is substantially offsetting the impact of ongoing market weakness in North America and, excluding the exceptional items in North America, the outlook for 2007 remains in line with expectations.

Shares fell less than 1% to 483p.