Cala books another year of record profits

Upmarket housebuilder Cala has brushed aside Brexit concerns after banking another year of record profits thanks to strong demand in the south of England.

Cala Homes property as Thorntonhall, Westbrook. Picture: Contributed
Cala Homes property as Thorntonhall, Westbrook. Picture: Contributed

The Edinburgh-based group also saw its headcount rise by almost 100 while the average selling price of its properties rose by 6 per cent to £538,000.

Accounts for the year to the end of June reveal that profit before tax topped £60 million for the first time in the group’s history. Revenues rose by 15 per cent to £587.1m.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Chief executive Alan Brown said that while it was still early days since June’s EU referendum, total enquiry levels and reservation rates were up by 9 per cent and 46 per cent respectively in the past 13 weeks, while website users had risen by almost a third on the equivalent period last year. Cancellation rates are said to have actually fallen slightly.

Brown said: “2016 has been another record year with profits topping £60m for the first time in the group’s history.
“Despite headwinds in some of our markets, we have continued to build on the strong momentum we have generated over recent years, once again delivering robust volume and revenue growth while still achieving incremental improvements in our return on capital employed.

“Our growth strategy remains to focus on driving operational efficiency improvements throughout the group as we continue scaling up our divisions.

“Alongside this, we continue to invest in building the size and capability of our teams, welcoming almost 100 additional members of staff to the business including our ongoing increase of apprenticeship and graduate recruitment initiatives across the group.”

The firm, which began life in 1875 as the City of Aberdeen Land Association, said its continued focus on southern England would drive future growth, with 57 per cent of new sites contracted over the year in the region.