New chief executive Greg Fitzgerald is on a whistle-stop tour of all Bovis Homes building sites and offices around the country as he seeks to build morale in the company and conduct his own strategic analysis.
In a trading update today, Bovis Homes confirmed that, as announced in February, the rate of production has now been slowed. Completion volumes for 2017 will be 10% to 15% below the 2016 level before returning to normal industry production levels. The build programme for the year to date is expected to deliver approximately 1,500 completions in the first six months of 2017. Profitability will be hit in the short term.
However, despite the turmoil, dividends are up. Shareholders meeting for the company’s AGM in Tunbridge Wells today will be invited to support a final dividend of 30 pence per share (2015: 26.3 pence per share), giving a total dividend for 2016 of 45.0 pence per share (2015: 40 pence per share).
Greg Fitzgerald said: "I am confident that Bovis will return to being a leading UK housebuilder and excited by the challenge ahead. The clear focus for 2017 is on improving our production processes and efficiency thereby ensuring we deliver quality homes to our customers. By the end of June I will have visited all our developments and met the majority of our people; we have already identified improvements to streamline the business, provide greater focus and be more agile."