July 15, 2020 / 6:47 AM / a month ago

Homebuilder McCarthy & Stone racks up loss as completions fall 44%

(Reuters) - Retirement-home builder McCarthy & Stone Plc (MCS.L) swung to a 25 million pound ($31.5 million) loss in the first half of 2020 and warned of more damage to come, as COVID-19 restrictions on housing transactions slashed its number of completed sales.

The UK company, which had already scrapped its dividend in March, also said it was reorganising senior management and letting go its Chief Operating Officer for Build, Nigel Turner, in an effort to adjust to reduced workflow and demand.

UK housebuilders have been getting sales and construction going again over the past two months, after a full-scale halt both on site and on legal transactions under Britain’s coronavirus lockdowns.

McCarthy & Stone said that while it believed the peak of the crisis was behind the industry, the financial impact “would be weighted to H2”.

It reported a 44% fall in the number of completions in the first half of the year compared to the same period a year ago, along with a 64% drop in revenue to 101 million pounds and underlying operating loss of 24.8 million pounds versus a profit of 21.3 million 12 months ago.

“The onset of COVID-19 ... has had a significant impact on our financial performance,” Chief Executive Officer John Tonkiss said in the results’ release.

($1 = 0.7950 pounds)

Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong and Patrick Graham in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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