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Land & New Homes

Bovis reports ‘difficult’ year as snagging bill hits £7.8m

Move follows profit warning in January and departure of chief executive

Nigel Lewis

Shares in top ten house builder Bovis dropped by over 10% yesterday after it revealed that £7.8 million will have to be spent on fixing poorly-built properties.

Bovis also said it would be reducing the number of homes it sold during 2017 by up to 15% following a ‘difficult year for the group following a period of ambitious growth’ and that it would be resetting the business and ‘putting the customer back at the centre of everything we do’.

The Kent-based company says this is to include improved customer training for all staff, better quality assurance, more effective customer complaints procedures and the creation of a Homebuyers Panel.

This is in reaction to recent criticism of the company for putting sales targets ahead of other considerations. This prompted so many homebuyer complaints that a Facebook page with nearly 1,500 members has been formed, and The Guardian newspaper recently completed a highly critical investigation into its build quality and sales tactics.

Bovis Homes, which is the ninth largest house builder in the UK by turnover, completed 4,000 properties last year.

The company is currently marketing over 110 developments across approximately 30 counties in England from North Y Yorkshire to Devon of which 72% are houses, 21% social housing and 7% apartments.

earl sibley bovis“We have a clear set of operational priorities for 2017 and are fully committed to improving our levels of customer service and delivering high quality homes this year and in the future,” says Earl Sibley, its interim chief executive (pictured), who replaced David Ritchie last month after the company issued a profit warning.

“The fundamentals of the business remain strong with a robust financial position and high quality land bank. With our focus on higher levels of customer service, improved build efficiency, and a refreshed culture, we are confident we will generate enhanced shareholder returns over the medium term.”

February 21, 2017

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