Hovnanian sales fall in the first quarter

K. Hovnanian, a national home builder with operations in 19 states, reported wider losses in the first quarter on an unsteady housing market.

The company reported losses of $130.9 million, wider than the $54.6 million in losses reported in the same period last year.

Sales were $1.09 billion, down 6.4 percent from $1.165 billion in the same period last year.

In the first quarter, the company delivered 3,604 homes, an increase of 10.3 percent from 3,266 home in the first quarter of 2007, not including unconsolidated joint ventures.

"Market conditions remain challenging across many of our markets," said company president and CEO Ara K. Hovnanian. "We continue to focus on reducing our inventories, maximizing cash flow and shrinking our overhead to ensure that we properly manage the difficult market conditions we currently face.”

The company recorded $94 million in pre-tax, land-related charges, an amount virtually unchanged from similar land-related charges of $93 million recorded in the same period last year.

Hovnanian is headquartered in Red Bank, N.J.

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