Aa he prepares to take over the reins of Lend Lease, one of Australia's largest property companies, Steve McCann says he expects more bad news before seeing a recovery in the difficult and turbulent property market.

'Our short-term priority is to preserve our financial strength,' McCann said yesterday after being named as successor to outgoing chief executive Greg Clarke.

McCann, Lend Lease's chief financial officer, said his immediate focus was on 'prudent management' to deal with the tough market ahead.

Clark recruited McCann from ABN AMRO three years ago.

The Australian