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Bovis sets aside extra £3.5m to tackle problem homes

Bovis has set aside an extra £3.5m to address “legacy” problems with the quality of its new-build homes. 

The housebuilder, which fought off takeover approaches from rivals Galliford Try and Redrow earlier this year, has been tackling electrical and plumbing faults after some customers claimed new homes were sold unfinished.

Bovis had already set aside £7m to tackle the issues.

The firm said today the extra money would ensure it was “fully resourced to complete the works identified as swiftly as possible”.

It added: “We are confident that all legacy issues are now identified.”

Bovis had previously said it would slow down the rate of building this year, meaning it will develop 10-15 per cent fewer homes in 2017. It completed 1,512 homes in the first half of the year, a 5.6 per cent fall on the same period 12 months earlier.

The company said today its profitability had been affected by “increased build costs…and an increased level of investment across the business in the period to address legacy issues”.

In a trading update, Bovis said its performance in the six months to 30 June had been “in line with expectations”.

Chief executive Greg Fitzgerald (pictured), who joined Bovis in April, said: “We continue to identify and implement operational improvements and I am very confident we can deliver a successful turnaround, returning Bovis Homes to being a leading UK housebuilder.”

Mr Fitzgerald, who joined Bovis from Galliford Try, revealed last month he was undertaking a strategic review of the business to get it back on track.

Analysts Peel Hunt said today: “While we believe Greg Fitzgerald will get Bovis performing much better, we believe it will take more time than many expect.”

Bovis echoed comments from rival Persimmon yesterday by saying demand for new homes “continues to be robust across all regions”. 

Mr Fitzgerald’s predecessor David Ritchie left Bovis late last year following a profit warning.

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