But housebuilder scraps interim dividend after making only small profit in ‘difficult’ conditions

ondon housebuilder Telford Homes has scraped a pre-tax profit growth in its interim results but said that trading conditions have been the “most difficult” it has seen.

The company posted pre-tax profit of £300,000 for the six months to 30 September, up from a loss of £3.6m over the same period last year. Revenue increased by 215% to £35.6m, up from £11.3m in 2007.

Gross margin was in line with expectations at 14.5%, the company said in a statement to the stock market.

But Telford said it has made a land writedown of £1.4m and is scrapping its interim dividend, after paying out 4.5p per share last year.

Uncertainty about the future is making it “difficult” to plan future investment, said the housebuilder, adding that prudent cash control is its main objective.

Chief executive Andrew Wiseman said: “Market conditions in the last six months have been the most difficult faced by Telford Homes since the company started trading in 2000.”

He added: “The deteriorating economic situation has led to a collapse in confidence in off-plan purchases so the company is unable, at present, to secure any significant speculative pre-sales.”

But he said cuts in interest rates and house prices are making homes more affordable and improving equity yields for investors.

He added that Telford is well placed to take advantage of the regeneration opportunities in east London.