Housebuilder and property investor Artisan (UK) says that there are initial signs of improvement but the lack of mortgages is holding back the recovery.
Sales more than halved to £5.1m in the six months to December 2008. There was a swing from a profit of £80,000 to a £5.24m loss. There were £3.71m of exceptional charges, mainly relating to a goodwill write off for housebuilder Rippon Homes and a reduction in value of the land bank.
The commercial development division was the only part of the business to make a positive contribution in the period.
The house building side hopes to reduce its stock of housing. However, only 15 homes were sold in the first half.
Net debt is £24.7m. A banking covenant was breached at the end of 2008 and the facilities are being renegotiated. Negotiations should be completed in the near future.
At 25.5p a share, Artisan is valued at £2.09m. The NAV is £16.1m.
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