Bovis Homes Group

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Bovis Homes Group plc
Public
Traded asLSEBVS
IndustryHousebuilding
Founded1965
HeadquartersKings Hill, Kent, UK
Key people
Ian Tyler, Chairman
Greg Fitzgerald, CEO
Revenue£1,061.4 million (2018)[1]
£174.2 million (2018)[1]
£136.6 million (2018)[1]
Websitewww.bovishomesgroup.co.uk/

Bovis Homes Group plc is a second tier national British housebuilding company based in Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

History[edit]

Bovis Homes’ origins lay in the early post-war housing operations of Bovis Holdings (see also Bovis Construction). Bovis had been acquiring housing land in the early 1950s but the level of housebuilding was modest until 1967 when it acquired Frank Sanderson’s Malcolm Sanderson Developments and the much larger RT Warren.[2] Frank Sanderson rapidly expanded Bovis’s housing through acquisition including the quoted Page-Johnson and Varney Holdings; by 1973 Bovis was probably the country’s second or third largest housebuilder, with sales of over 2,600.[3]

The secondary banking crisis adversely affected Bovis Holdings’ banking subsidiary and the Group had to be rescued by P&O in March 1974.[4] Frank Sanderson left Bovis in 1973 and Philip Warner was appointed managing director of Bovis Homes, a position he held for 25 years.[5] During the 1970s Bovis reduced its housing volumes as it concentrated on rebuilding profitability, but it began to expand again in the 1980s.[3]

The Company was demerged from P&O and was floated on the London Stock Exchange as Bovis Homes in 1997.[4] On 9 January 2017, the company announced that its chief executive David Ritchie, who had been at the company for 18 years, had stepped down with immediate effect; he was quoted to have said that it was time for someone new to lead the group.[6][7]

Former Galliford Try CEO Greg Fitzgerald took over as chief executive on 18 April 2017.[8] On 24 May 2019, Galliford Try rejected a £950m offer from Bovis Homes for its Linden Homes and Partnerships & Regeneration businesses.[9]

Operations[edit]

A Bovis Homes development near Southampton

Bovis Homes operates seven regional businesses and builds a wide range of properties from one-bedroom apartments up to six-bedroom executive houses. It has offices in Kings Hill, Basingstoke, Reading, Exeter, Bishops Cleeve, Stafford, Coleshill and Milton Keynes.[10]

Controversies[edit]

Following the resignation of David Ritchie as the CEO on 9 January 2017,[6][7] shortly after the company had issued a profit warning following a slow down in sales in December 2016,[11] the company was at the centre of controversy when news reports appeared that it had tried to issue cash incentives to customers in order for them to complete purchases and move into unfinished new homes.[12]

After a troubled period of increased press coverage of complaints from customers about perceived shortcuts of quality of homes built by the company as well as the formation of a Facebook group by unhappy customers called "Bovis Homes Victims Group", which also had a You Tube channel,[13][14] Bovis Homes interim CEO Earl Sibley acknowledged that their customer service levels had failed to meet the expected standards. He announced that the company would set aside £7m, to compensate customers who had been affected by finding problems with their new homes.[15][16]

On 19 April 2018 The Times,[17] the Daily Mail,[18] and The Sun,[19] reported Bovis Homes were hit with fresh accusations of continued quality issues and poor customer service, misleading buyers, "deliberately" delaying essential repairs,failing adequately to repair defects and engaging in "underhand behaviour" to limit bad publicity. The Times reported that the previous year Bovis were forced to apologise to customers for poor workmanship after the newspaper revealed that hundreds of buyers had complained of bouncing and vibrating floors, leaks, missing insulation panels, poor drainage and unfinished gardens.[17]

The Times reported that the company set aside more than £10 million to deal with the complaints, but customers said service standards remained appalling. A whistleblower who worked as a customer service manager said he feared that construction problems were so common that the company might need to spend significantly more. The problems contributed to Bovis becoming the only national builder to be awarded a two-star rating out of five in the Home Builders Federation’s (HBF) annual customer satisfaction survey for the year ending September 2017. The newspaper reported that when The Times did a mystery shop on eight Bovis developments, all bar one claimed to have a star rating of three or above. Half claimed the company had four or five stars. The Times also reported that homebuyers were prevented from talking to the media by non-disclosure clauses.[17]

On 10 May 2018, The Independent[20] reported fresh allegations of home buyers being offered incentives including shopping vouchers for positive feedback[20] and on 9 December 2017 The Guardian reported that Bovis faced a potential class-action lawsuit by a group of homebuyers which had secured over 3,000 members.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Preliminary Results 2018" (PDF). Bovis Homes Group. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ The Times 25 February 1967
  3. ^ a b Wellings, Fred: Dictionary of British Housebuilders (2006) Troubador. ISBN 978-0-9552965-0-5.
  4. ^ a b Bovis Homes History
  5. ^ Cooper, Peter, Building Relationships: The History of Bovis, Cassell, ISBN 0-297-82533-X
  6. ^ a b Sam Dean; Isabelle Fraser (9 January 2017). "Bovis Homes boss David Ritchie quits just days after house builder issues profit warning". The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  7. ^ a b "David Ritchie stepping down as chief executive of Bovis Homes - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk". BelfastTelegraph. 9 January 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  8. ^ "Greg Fitzgerald: Meet the Bovis Homes boss who's anything but retiring about curbing fat cats". Evening Standard. 10 November 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  9. ^ Prior, Grant (28 May 2019). "Galliford Try rejects £950m Bovis bid for housing business". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  10. ^ "Contact us". Bovis Homes. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  11. ^ Rhiannon Bury (28 December 2016). "House builder Bovis warns that December slowdown could hit profits". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  12. ^ John Knowles (14 January 2017). "Pay deals 'behind Bovis house of horrors'". The Times. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  13. ^ Vaish, Costas Pitas and Esha. "British builder Bovis faces further profit fall after complaints about quality". Reuters UK. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  14. ^ "Bovis and its houses of so many horrors". The Times. 11 January 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  15. ^ "Bovis Homes shares tumble as it says it will build fewer homes in 2017". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  16. ^ "Poor customer service hits Bovis profit". BBC News. 20 February 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  17. ^ a b c "Buyers in despair at badly built new homes". The Times. 19 April 2018. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  18. ^ "'Underhand' Bovis Homes is accused of misleading buyers and 'deliberately' delaying essential repairs to shoddily built houses". Daily Mail. 19 April 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Bovis accused misleading buyers delaying repairs". The Sun. 19 April 2018. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  20. ^ a b "Bovis homebuyers offered 'cash in return for positive feedback', investigation reveals". The Independent. 10 May 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  21. ^ "Angry homebuyers plan class-action lawsuit against Bovis". The Guardian. 9 December 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2018.

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