Cairn says construction activity continuing but sales likely to be hit

Irish homebuilder says it is following strict health protocols to prevent spread of virus

Homebuilder Cairn said construction activity across its sites is continuing but with strict health protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus but that it expects to see a drop in sales as a result of the virus.

“For the moment, and aligned to Government guidelines, construction activity continues across each of our active sites under extensive health and safety protocols implemented to ensure the risk to employees and subcontractors from Covid-19 is reduced and to enable social distancing,” the company said in a statement this morning.

The Government is controversially allowing work to continue on construction sites, which employ more than 30,000 people directly around the State, while directing other businesses to close. Construction unions are divided on the issue.

Publishing its annual results for 2019 earlier this month Cairn had signalled a strong start to the year with strong demand across several sites but now it said


However, it said the recent spike in coronavirus cases here had seen footfall and face to face enquiries slow “significantly”and that it now expects sales to be impacted.

“The board is monitoring this carefully and while there remains considerable uncertainty, the Company expects sales activity to be negatively impacted over at least the near term and possibly for an indeterminate period of time,” it said.

“As also advised in our 2019 preliminary results announcement, the company’s year to date closed sales and forward sales pipeline was 853 units with a sales value of €266.1 million as at March 2nd2020.”

“Almost 85 per cent of forward sales are contracted and encouragingly, contracted sales have been completing in recent days and weeks, as customers look to get the keys to their new homes,” it added.

The company’s annual general meeting is still scheduled for May 20th.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times