Earnings on solid ground at building firm Stewart Milne

North-east housebuilder benefits from growing footprint across rest of Britain. Picture: Anne Johnston
North-east housebuilder benefits from growing footprint across rest of Britain. Picture: Anne Johnston
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Stewart Milne has reported an increase in turnover and underlying profit as it prepares to begin work on a major new housing community near Aberdeen later this month.

The group, founded by its eponymous executive chairman in 1975, posted a 20 per cent rise in turnover for the year to June 2015. Revenues of £252 million were accompanied by an operating profit of £14.4m, up from £14.1m previously.

Glenn Allison, who took over as chief executive in 2014, said the group was very pleased with its performance at the operating level. This included “strong growth” in the timber systems business, which supplies housing frames for builders throughout the UK, plus the launch of a “significant” number of new home developments across the country.

Stewart Milne also highlighted progress on its flagship Countesswells project to the west of Aberdeen, which will create a community of 3,000 homes over the next 15 years. Work will begin this month on the project, which is backed by an £86m guarantee from the UK Treasury.

“These results show our continuing position as one of the leading independent housebuilders in the UK,” Allison said. “We continue to grow our housebuilding activity across the UK, and our timber system business has again grown strongly in all regions of the country.”

The latter benefited from a significant rise in contracts from major housebuilders, including a group-wide contract with Barratt Developments.

The north-eastern group employs more than 900 people in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Oxford. It recently launched five new developments in the north-west of England, with new Scottish developments planned for this year at Auchinloch, Houston, Renfrew and Strathaven.

The results mark the second successive year of profits for Stewart Milne in the wake of the housing slump which led to losses of nearly £5.7m during the year to June 2013.

Allison said the group’s focus on growth in its core operating areas has been successful in driving the business forward.

“Our prudent approach and long-term planning continue to deliver in line with our long-term strategy,” he said.

“Key to our growth is our strong culture, which has customers at its heart and is built on coaching and empowering our people to retain and enhance expertise and loyalty.

“We are in great shape to capitalise on growth opportunities in a sustainable way.”

l Members of the family behind residential property specialist Teague Developments have set up a new venture to overhaul an office block in Portobello.

Kerwick, led by director Steven Teague, is creating 
22 new flats and four penthouses in the coastal suburb of Edinburgh which are due to be completed by the end of this year. The £3m project, Kerwick’s first, is backed by NatWest.