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Profits at the housebuilder Bovis Homes dropped by 3 per cent to £154.7m in what the company admitted had been a “difficult year” of customer complaints about its building standards.

In the year to the end of December, the FTSE 250 group said it had set aside £7m for customer care after “weaknesses in our production process and a high level of customer service issues”. It said these problems followed a period of “ambitious growth”.

Bovis’ chief executive, David Ritchie, resigned last month after a profit warning in December prompted by the group’s failure to complete about 180 of its planned homes by the end of the year.

It then emerged that hundreds of customers were complaining of poorly built and unfinished homes, and some had been paid to move into incomplete homes before the end of the financial year.

Issuing final results on Monday, the Kent-based group said it would carry out a “deliberate slowing of our rate of production” as part of “re-setting the business and delivering on our clear operational priorities”.

Despite the problems, Bovis will increase its dividend by 13 per cent to 45p a share. It said revenues were up 11 per cent to £1.1bn as it completed 3,977 homes, up 1 per cent from a year earlier.

Earl Sibley, interim chief executive, said:

With our focus on higher levels of customer service, improved build efficiency, and a refreshed culture, we are confident we will generate enhanced shareholder returns over the medium term.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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