Sales halved at Redrow in the six months to the end of December, pushing the housebuilder to a £46.2m loss.

The company said it was in the process of cutting headcount to half the level of a year ago and was trying to save £40m a year from its administrative, sales and site costs.

It also booked a further writedown of its land and property assets, valuing them at 45% less than their historic cost of £596m. A further £23.7m charge was recorded on top of the £259.4m provisioned for in July.

The pre-tax loss followed a £35.8m profit for the same period in 2007. Revenue fell to £149.5m, from £353.1m the previous year.

Financial Times, The Times, Daily Telegraph