Galliford Try, the hybrid housebuilder and construction group, maintained annual profits in spite of having to cut 20% off new house prices in an attempt to preserve volumes.

The housing slump also forced Galliford to take £11.5m of exceptional costs, including writedowns on the value of its land and redundancy costs.

The building and infrastructure divisions proved to be more resilient, helping deliver a stable pre-tax profit of £60.3m (£60.2m) on sales of £1.8bn (£1.4bn).

The final dividend is cut to 2.1p (2.2p) in order to match last year’s 3p final. Earnings per share were 11.4p (14.3p).

The news of heavy price discounting – Galliford cut 40% off the original price of one struggling high-rise development – sent shudders through the sector, where most operators have so far hoped to maintain current volumes with far less aggressive discounting.

Financial Times, The Times, Daily Telegraph