Pre-tax loss but McInerney Holdings in relatively stable position

HOUSEBUILDING group McInerney Holdings has said that it is in a relatively stable position, even though latest results show a pre-tax/exceptionals loss of €12.8 million (€170.9mafter exceptional items) for the first six months of this year and a halving in the value of its Irish land bank.

However, that loss (before exceptional items) was nearly halved from the €22.08m pre-tax loss reported for the first half of last year.

The group’s loss per share – for the first half of the year – went from 23.15c to 84.77c and revenue fell from €142.2m to €80.8m.

In addition, the group announced a further impairment charge – as expected – of €156m, halving the value of its Irish land bank to an average of €26,000 per plot.

Chief executive Barry O’Connor said yesterday the group’s cost base is under control and the business has very little stock built lying idle and unsold.

He added the company would, where the Irish market is concerned, focus on its core product output of three-to-four bedroom houses hitting the market at a price range of €225,000 to €250,000. He said the company would be working to a “sell-then-build” model. A lowering of mortgage availability, falling consumer sentiment, a smaller volume of new houses being built and falling house prices were the main drivers behind McInerney’s continued loss during the period in question.

In total, the company completed 342 houses in the first half of the year, down from a total of 423 during the first six months of 2008.

“In Ireland, house prices continued to fall throughout the first half, with sales rates since May being particularly weak,” the company’s management said yesterday. McInerney’s chairman, Ned Sullivan added that the business “remains well positioned” to benefit from any upturn in the property market due to its “locations, design and pricing points.”

McInerney’s share price closed at 23c yesterday.


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