Buccleuch points to 'glimmers of hope' in property market after profit slump

Buccleuch, one of Scotland’s largest property owners, has pointed to “glimmers of hope” in the investment market after reporting a fall in annual turnover and operating profit.

Accounts for MDS Estates, the parent company of Buccleuch Property, whose operations are based mainly within four estates, in central Scotland, the Scottish Borders and rural Northamptonshire, show operating profit falling to £1.7 million in the year to October 31, compared with £4.4m the year before. Turnover fell to £87.1m from £93m previously.

Executive chairman Benny Higgins said: “We are pleased to report another year of strong business performance across our range of enterprises, with Buccleuch having once again proven to be a resilient business model. Our business is diverse, employing 494 colleagues in a range of roles and locations, often in rural areas of the UK. Each of the enterprises performed well against target.”

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The former Tesco Bank boss added: “Over the year, Buccleuch Property invested in both income producing properties and development opportunities for the long-term. The team will approach each new investment cautiously, ensuring there remains the appropriate blend of sector-type and property location, across the UK and North America. We can see glimmers of hope, however, with emerging opportunities as a result of the fall in values as markets react to higher interest values and inflationary pressures. The rural businesses also performed well. Both farming and forestry reporting individual profits, despite uncertainty around agricultural subsidies and food production, and the continuing battle against the long-term effects of Storm Arwen.”



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