Avant Homes praises '˜record' results

Housebuilder Avant Homes, which has a strong footprint in the Central Belt via its Scottish base in Stirling, remains on track to more than double its output to 4,000 homes a year and grow turnover to £1 billion by 2023 after posting 'record' results.

Avant says Scotland, where it has 15 outlets, is a very important market. Picture: contributed.
Avant says Scotland, where it has 15 outlets, is a very important market. Picture: contributed.

The business, whose group headquarters are in Chesterfield, said group revenue reached £446.9 million, a year-on-year jump of about a fifth, while underlying core operating profit grew by 43 per cent to £65.9m.

Total home completions jumped by 16 per cent to 1,902 and the average private selling price was up by about 6 per cent to £257,400.

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Chief executive Colin Lewis told The Scotsman: “We continue to build on the success of last year during the course of the current year and our land supply has been the key underpin of that.”

Avant, which also operates in the north east of England, Yorkshire and the Midlands, added 3,071 plots to the owned and contracted land supply, which now stands at 7,921 plots, with a potential gross development value of £1.9bn. Sites acquired in the year included Glasgow, as well as Nottingham, Durham and Sheffield.

“The continuing health of housing market conditions in the Midlands, the north of England and the Central Belt of Scotland where we operate, and the continued buoyancy of our mid-market offering supports our plan to ramp up our growth targets to more than double our output to 4,000 aspirational, design-led homes per annum by 2023,” added Lewis.

Looking at Scotland specifically, he said the performance remains robust. “We do believe very much in staying with the markets that we are familiar with,” he stated, noting that the firm is also present in Dundee and Perth. He also cited the recent Hometrack UK Cities House Price Index, finding that Edinburgh, where Avant has developments in locations such as Newcraighall, recorded the highest growth in property values of any city in the UK at 7.1 per cent over the year to April. Glasgow is also performing well, Lewis said.

“We like to make sure that we are focusing as much on Glasgow as Edinburgh.” Scotland’s largest city is key to Avant as well as Falkirk and others in between. “Scotland is a very important market for us.”

Avant now has 15 outlets in Scotland, with a further three or four to be added in the next six months.

Lewis added: “Overall, our northern UK markets remain supportive, and we have begun our new financial year strongly as we build towards our intention of becoming a £1bn turnover business.”