Vistry appoints Laing O’Rourke finance chief as Tyler steps down

Housebuilder Vistry has appointed Laing O’Rourke finance chief Rowan Baker as non-executive director.

She joins the Kent-based firm as chair of its audit committee today as previous incumbent, Ralph Findlay, steps up to replace Ian Tyler as chairman.

Tyler chaired Vistry, and predecessor firm Bovis Homes, for more than eight years, prior to which he served as chief executive of Balfour Beatty.

Baker, who started at Laing O’Rourke in 2020, will also join Vistry’s nomination and remuneration committees.

The housebuilder, which was formed two years ago, when Bovis acquired the housebuilding arms of Galliford Try, said Baker’s “financial expertise and sector experience” would “further strengthen” its board.

Vistry revealed the appointment as it updated the City on trading developments in the first five months of this year, ahead of its annual general meeting today.

It said the administrative costs of managing the remediation of fire-safety issues with mid-rise buildings it had developed over the past 30 years – in line with the government pledge it has signed – would be up to £3m per year.

Vistry has estimated the cost of the actual works at up to £50m, on top of a £25m provision already made.

The housebuilder has about 200 live projects and said its sites were “operating well”, with construction output in the first six months of this year expected to be in line with that achieved in the first half of 2021.

“We have clear visibility on material supplies and good levels of on-site labour, and while we continue to see build-cost inflation, this is being more than offset by price increases,” said the group in its trading update.

“While we are mindful of the wider market uncertainties, we remain positive on our outlook. Our expectation for profit in the first half has moved forward and, for 2022, we expect adjusted profit before tax to be at the top end of market forecasts.”

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