Hefty £283m writedowns in US push Taylor Wimpey into the red

By David Prosser, Deputy Business Editor
Friday, 7 March 2008

Taylor Wimpey, the UK’s second largest housebuilder, yesterday declared a small loss for 2007 following close to £300m worth of writedowns on its trading in the United States.

Taylor Wimpey, formed following the merger last July of Taylor Woodrow and George Wimpey, said it lost £19.5m last year, compared with a profit of £406m in 2006, calculated on a like-for-like basis.

The decline was primarily caused by the disastrous state of the US property market, where Taylor Wimpey wrote down the value of its land bank and building projects by £283m. The company sold 25 per cent fewer homes in America last year.

Peter Redfern, Taylor Wimpey’s chief executive, said he still believed the US would be an important market for the company in the longer term. Nevertheless, the company has halved its exposure to the region, which now represents 15 per cent of its land bank.

“We’ve said for some time that we do not expect North America to bounce back in 2008 and we continue to be of that opinion,” Mr Redfern said. “It remains an exceptionally difficult market.”

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