- House builder Vistry swung to a first-half loss after lockdowns hit construction markets, though it said production levels were now back to near normal levels.

Pre-tax losses for the six months through June amounted to £12.2m, compared to a profit of £72.5m on-year.

Revenue rose 5% to £606.4m following the completion of the company's acquisition of Linden Homes in January.

Vistry said it expected to post a pre-tax profit for the full year of £130m-to-£140m.

It added that it 'has the ability' to deliver at least £310m of pre-tax profit in 2021, assuming stable pricing, sales rates and productivity levels.

The company said it was aiming to resume dividends in respect of 2021 with a progressive dividend policy thereafter.

The sales rate since 1 July was 20% up on-year, at 0.73, while forward sales were at a record £2.7bn.

'We moved quickly to integrate Linden Homes and Vistry Partnerships at the start of the year,' chief executive Greg Fitzgerald said.

'It has been a successful process bringing together the best from each business, with the benefits from the combination expected to be ahead of our initial target.'

'We have seen positive sales trends since early May, with consumer interest higher than at any time in recent years.'

'The group is well positioned to capitalise on the opportunities available in the second half and into 2021 when we expect to deliver a step-up in completions and profitability, a reduction in gearing and a return to dividend payments.'

Story provided by