Grainger, the residential property owner, has announced cost-cutting measures to raise cash as it suffers the first impact of the housing downturn.

It has postponed development activity on most sites until conditions improve and intends to reduce overhead costs by 10% by the end of the financial year. The shares rose 19p to 223p as investors welcomed the measures.

It has also stepped up its sales programme and curtailed spending on new residential investments.

At July 31, group net debt was £1.65bn and its estimated loan to value ratio was 61%. Available headroom amounted to £411m and it said major efforts were being made to reduce overall debt.

Financial Times