House builder Abbey has reported a pre-tax loss of €54.4m for the year ended April 30 2009, with the group feeling the full effects of the property market crisis.

However a tax credit of €3.8 million lowered the firm's losses to €50.6 million, which represented a loss per share of €2.06 per share.

The firm had made a profit of €16.8 million in the previous 12 months.

The slump in the housing market brought about an impairment charge of €58.1 million against land and work in progress. The company's board has not recommended a dividend.

Abbey sold 467 properties during the year, with just 129 offloaded in this country.

Sales in the UK were broadly in line with expectations, but this was achieved by a reduction in prices.

In its preliminary results statement, the company said that it has 'struggled to maintain any reasonable sale volumes with areas outside Dublin particularly hard hit'.

It said house prices have fallen further since the end of April, but added that record low interest rates have created the right conditions for a recovery.