June 30, 2020 / 6:50 AM / 7 days ago

Homebuilder Redrow to shrink London business, warns of full-year sales drop

(Reuters) - British homebuilder Redrow (RDW.L) said on Tuesday it was scaling back its London operations and expects sales to drop more than a third this year due to the timing of coronavirus-fueled site closures.

The Ewloe, UK-based company also warned that 2020 profit will be substantially below last year’s due to the impact of Covid-19 and the trimming down of London operations.

“The timing of site closures due to Covid-19 towards the end of March had a profound impact upon the group’s results in a year, which was budgeted to be disproportionately weighted to the end of the second-half,” the company said.

Redrow’s shares fell 7% at the open to 429.8 pence on the London Stock Exchange.

The company said it was pulling back operations in London to concentrate on more high return regional businesses and its Heritage product - suburban homes designed in period style features that have more spacious interiors.

Redrow forecast group turnover to come in at 1.34 billion pounds ($1.65 billion), compared with 2.11 billion pounds last year.

Costs and related significant impairments associated with the scaling back of the London business will be provided for in the June 2020 accounts, the company.

Redrow said it completed 4,032 homes in the year to the end of June compared to 6,443 in the previous year, but its order book was at a record 1.42 billion pounds for its new financial year starting in July, as construction would be second half weighted.

Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Sriraj Kalluvila

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