Wilcon Homes has reduced its pre-tax profit for last year by £4m after a change in accounting policy.
In a trading statement this week, the firm said it had cut £5.7m from its pre-tax profit for the six months to 30 June 2000, which it now assesses as £24.4m. The year-end figures were reduced £4.3m to £66.7m.

The group said it had changed its policy on reporting housing sales. The move follows the integration of the accounting policies of Wilcon and Wainhomes, which it acquired recently.

Sales will be recognised only on legal completion, rather than exchange of contracts. This pushes some sales into later accounting periods.

The statement said: "The effect of this change will be to align profit recognition more closely with cash collection and bring Wilson Connolly into line with the majority of its peers in the housebuilding sector."

It added that the integration of Wainhomes into its operations was ahead of plans. The acquisition led to 75 job cuts across both firms, of which 20 were directors.

The group said it expected to make more than £3.5m in savings from the acquisition by eliminating overheads and closing two offices.

Wilcon's acquisition of Wainhomes created a group with a combined output of 5200 homes a year and a turnover of £650m.