hov-hq-8-12-06Hovnanian’s headquarters in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Red Bank-based Hovnanian Enterprises‘ departure from the Minnesota market contributed to a $16.2 million net loss in its first fiscal quarter, the company reported Wednesday.

The company tied the loss to $11.7 million of land-related charges, primarily related to assets in Minnesota, which it said it is exiting. The result compares to a net loss of $14.4 million, including $2.2 million of land-related charges, in the first quarter of the previous year, the company reported.

The exit from Minnesota is part of a broader strategy of “deleveraging,” or reducing debt, by leaving select markets, CEO Ara Hovnanian said in a prepared statement.

From the statement:

“Rather than focusing on additional revenue growth beyond 2016, we now plan to focus on deleveraging our balance sheet and maximizing our profitability. As part of this strategy we have decided to exit the Minneapolis, MN and Raleigh, NC markets. Additionally, we plan to wind down our operations in Tampa, FL and the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California by delivering the remaining homes in our existing communities. We are confident these decisions will lead to continued efficiencies and ultimately improved financial performance,”