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Artisan reveals £6.8m 2009 losses

AIM-listed house builder Artisan has revealed a £6.8 million operating loss for 2009 as the collapse in the property market devastated the company.

Artisan has renegotiated its banking agreements after the recession saw its turnover reduce from £23.4 million in 2008 to just £10.9 million in the year to 30 June 2009.

The losses before tax were £8.1 million, as the company warned that while its residential division was showing signs of improved trading, it was “not to a level that secures profitability.”

Artisan is involved in housebuilding, business parks and property investing.

The company said: “In both the first and second halves of the financial year, the markets for our residential and commercial divisions have continued to be difficult and volatile. It was with some relief that we saw a number of customers returning to the market at the beginning of 2009. This renewed interest was dampened somewhat by the great difficulty in securing mortgage funding and maintaining transactions through to completion in the face of some very cautious mortgage valuations.

“The initial surge from the few buyers able to fund transactions has slowed to a slightly lower but steady pace. These sales generate cash, but are not yet at a level that will secure profitable trading.”