Redrow founder departs with warning over London market
Steve Morgan’s departure comes at a difficult time for the sector.
Redrow chairman and founder Steve Morgan is to step down from the housebuilder as it warned over a slowdown in the London property market.
Mr Morgan will retire at the end of March 2019 and chief executive John Tutte will become executive chairman following his departure.
He has been chairman of Redrow for two stints – the first from 1974 to 2000, and then since 2009.
“The board is very grateful to Steve for his inspired leadership of Redrow since he founded the group in 1974, a period in which the group has changed much and grown substantially,” said Mr Tutte.
“Steve has made a huge contribution to the industry over many years and his leadership since he returned to Redrow in 2009 has been immense. We wish him every happiness for the future.”
His departure comes at a difficult time for the sector and Redrow said in a brief trading update that the London sales market remains “subdued” as “excessively high” stamp duty charges and Brexit uncertainty hit activity.
Our Founder and Chairman, Steve Morgan, has announced he will be retiring from the Redrow board in March 2019, exactly ten years to the day he returned to the business. Group CEO John Tutte will be succeeding Steve as Executive Chairman. Read more here: https://t.co/6gpn40WDgY pic.twitter.com/kfvaTVzEbq— Redrow plc (@Redrowplc) November 7, 2018
Redrow saw the value of net private reservations in the 18 weeks to November 3 in line with last year at £588 million, but the sales rate per outlet per week over the period was 0.64 compared with 0.67, the reduction “entirely due to the London market”.
On the whole, the FTSE 250-firm said trading is in line with expectations, with better demand in regional businesses.
Shares were down nearly 2% in morning trade at 554.5p.
The average selling price of private reservations was £388,000, up 4.6% from £371,000 for the same period last year.
Redrow’s total order book rose by 11% to £1.2 billion.
Redrow welcomed the extension of the Help to Buy scheme, announced in the Budget, but urged the Government to review regional price caps which seem to favour the South of England over the North and Midlands.