Improved margins help performance at Scotia Homes

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PROFITS at Scotia Homes recovered last year as the group improved margins despite shrinking sales.

Accounts filed with Companies House show the Peterhead-based company showed turn-over fell to £21.2 million in the 12 months to end-April, down from £30.1m the year before.

The firm said conditions in the housebuilding sector remained difficult, but pre-tax profit was £2.3m, up from £2.1m.

It described the results as “satisfactory”, and said it had achieved “good trading margins”.

However, the lower overall activity was reflected in average staff numbers, with the headcount falling from 173 to 141.
Directors at Scotia said they believe the market had stabilised enough that the company would not have to mark down the value of its land and houses under construction any further.

They said lengthy delays in the planning process, and in the production of the local authority development plans that
determine areas in which housing firms can build, were one of the main problems facing the business.

Scotia said the housing market remained uncertain, with a pick-up in buyer confidence offset by ongoing problems securing mortgages. However, with 103 homes sold, the firm forecasts satisfactory profit and cash flow this year.