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Sun June 13 2021

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Vistry plans more job losses despite ‘better than expected’ progress

20 May 20 House-builder Vistry is now back at work on most of its sites and is bullish on sales, but more jobs will have to be shed, the company revealed today.

Vistry is currently operating on 119 out of a total 172 of its own house-building developments (that's 69%) and on all 73 of its contracting sites, where it is building for other developers, including housing associations.

The latter part of the business, the partnerships business, has proved the most resilient part of the business, since it does not rely on home-buyers for its cash.

Vistry said that more than 70% of normal production capacity has already been restored in the partnerships business as teams get used to the new Covid-safe site operating procedures.

However, work is still continuing on the integration of the Linden and Bovis businesses – Vistry was created in January 2020 when Bovis took over Galliford Try’s house-building activities.

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The post-acquisition review has now been extended and further headcount reduction is expected. The board said that this would save an additional £9.5m a year, increasing the anticipated total synergy savings from the merger to more than £44m. 

Chief executive Greg Fitzgerald said: “In these unprecedented times, the group's performance during lockdown has been better than initially expected in respect of reservations, completions and cash management.  We are pleased by how effectively our site management and health and safety teams have adapted to the new operating procedures.  As a result, we currently have more than 5,600 operatives working safely across our developments and expect productivity to continue to increase.

"The continued strength of Vistry Partnerships throughout the past two months has proven our rationale for the acquisition, which has given us a highly resilient business underpinned by significant demand for affordable homes."

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