The results were an improvement on last year when it recorded a deficit of £1.97bn. However, its revenue for 2009 slipped to £2.5bn from £3.4bn in 2008. The company said “improving conditions” had led to a significantly stronger second half which saw a return to profitability.
It hopes the final six months of 2009 will carry on into 2010.
Chief executive Peter Redfern said: “Trading conditions for our main businesses stabilised through 2009 and we were pleased to return to operating profit in both the UK and North America in the second half of the year.”
He added: “While we remain cautious, we are continuing to see slowly improving conditions across our main markets. Our active cost reduction, high quality landbank and strong order book position us well to increase profitability as markets recover.”
UK houses fetched an average price tag of £160,000 in 2009 – down from £171,000 seen in 2008. It expects to see a upturn in house prices in 2010.