September 7, 2017 / 6:21 AM / 9 months ago

UK builder Bovis reins in growth targets as profits slide

LONDON, Sept 7 (Reuters) - British housebuilder Bovis , which was subject to two failed takeover bids earlier this year after it warned on profits, said it would rein in growth plans under a new boss as first-half profits fell 31 percent.

Bovis has been subject to negative media coverage in Britain after complaints about the quality of its homes and appointed a new chief executive, Greg Fitzgerald, earlier this year to turn around the ailing business, which expects volumes and profits to fall this year as it focuses on quality.

On Thursday, the firm said it now aimed to reach building 4,000 homes per year, significantly lower than a previous management target of 5,000-6,000 homes, and that it would focus much more on delivering affordable housing.

“We have reviewed our regional operating structure and concluded that the re-sized business, delivering 4,000 new homes per annum, is best served by seven rather than eight operating regions,” the firm said.

It is also reviewing the efficiency of some of its in-house operations such as planning, design and engineering and is reducing its overall headcount by 120, with the total restructuring costing around 4 million pounds.

Bovis’ first half pre-tax profit fell 31 percent to 42.7 million pounds ($56 million) as completions declined 6 percent to 1,512 units, in line with previously stated expectations. ($1 = 0.7668 pounds) (Reporting by Costas Pitas, editing by James Davey)

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