- House builder Taylor Wimpey swung to a first-half loss after Covid-19 lockdowns forced the temporary closure of its sites.

Pre-tax losses for the six months through June amounted to £39.8m, compared to a profit of £299.8m on-year, as revenue plunged 56% to £754.6m.

Taylor Wimpey did not declare an interim dividend, but said it expected to recommence dividend payments in 2021, with regards to the 2020 final dividend.

It also said that it would review a special dividend in 2021 for payment in 2022.

Home completions during the first half of 2020 dropped to 2,771, down from 6,541, excluding joint ventures.

The company said that in the nine weeks since its sales centres reopened in England, its sales rate had increased from 0.30 during shutdown to 0.70.

Appointments booked had tripled and there had been a 50% increase in website visits, year on year.

'Whilst there remains a high degree of uncertainty in the short term from both the impact of Covid-19, particularly on employment, as well as the UK's exit from the European Union, demand has remained robust and our customers have continued to want to progress their home purchases,' Taylor Wimpey said.

The company's order book value stood at £3.02bn, up from £2.52bn, excluding joint ventures as at 26 July.

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