Fitzgerald returns Bovis Homes to record profits

Aaron Morby 3 months ago
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Chief executive Greg Fitzgerald has completed the turnaround of Bovis Homes just 18 months after taking the helm.

The southern house builder is expected to report record profits for 2018, with completions 3% ahead of the previous year at 3,759.

In a end of year trading update this morning, Fitzgerald said he had successfully reset the business and restored margins.

He said: “The significant improvement in operational performance across all areas of the business is expected to deliver a record year of profits for the group.

“Customer satisfaction is a key priority and the group’s return to 4-star house builder status along with another controlled and disciplined period end reflect this. “

He added: “We are looking forward to delivering the first homes from our new housing range in 2019 and continuing to make further operational and financial progress.”

Fitzgerald was drafted in 18 months ago after a turbulent few months for Bovis which saw chief executive David Ritchie step down, profits dip and concerns raised about build quality.

He immediately scaled back the firm’s building programme by 10-15% with plans to return to normal levels in 2018.

Fitzgerald said the outlook for Bovis Homes remained bright going forward with customer demand for new homes supported by attractive mortgage finance and government initiatives, in particular Help to Buy.

“Whilst it is too early in the year to comment on 2019 trading, early signs are encouraging.

“As reported in November, we saw Brexit uncertainty driving a slowdown in discretionary buyers of our larger homes.

“Building on our much improved relationships with housing associations, we have increased our level of private sales to housing associations and see further opportunities in this area.  In addition, our stronger operating model and margin initiatives will support the business.”

The group is expected to have a year-end net cash balance of c. £127m (2017: £145m).

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