Persimmon wrote off a fifth of its assets last year and announced a pre-tax loss of £780m, but said that its refinancing earlier this week would enable it to benefit from a turn in the market.

The company said that revenues had fallen from £3bn to £1.76bn over the 12 months to the end of December. Average selling prices had dropped 17% from peak to trough and the company had reduced its finished stock to 750 homes.

The pre-tax loss compared with a profit of £583m last year and came after £905m of exceptional items – principally a £652m write down of the value of its property assets and a further £201m impairment to its goodwill.

Financial Times, The Times