Miller lays foundations for thousands of extra homes

Miller chief executive Chris Endsor. Picture: Contributed
Miller chief executive Chris Endsor. Picture: Contributed
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Miller Homes has outlined plans to build thousands more flats and houses after posting a solid rise in full-year profits.

Chief executive Chris Endsor said he was confident that the Edinburgh-based housebuilder could ramp up its annual output to 3,250 units by the end of the decade – an increase of roughly 50 per cent on current levels.

The growth target comes after banking facilities of £210 million were agreed recently with the firm’s existing lenders through to 2020, on “improved terms”.

Miller also highlighted a strong land bank and a record operating margin of almost 16 per cent, which it aims to boost to 18 per cent by next year.

Endsor said: “We have had an outstanding year in a market that continues to see confident buyers and disciplined mortgage lending. The building blocks are in place for continued growth.

“We have the operational expertise and financial firepower to grow output by a further 50 per cent to 3,250 units by 2019.”

READ MORE: Miller set for ‘significant’ growth as profits jump

Finance director Ian Murdoch said the group, which employs more than 700 people and operates across the UK, had been growing output by 10 to 15 per cent per annum over the past three years.

Its 2015 results revealed that profit before tax had jumped 91 per cent, year-on-year, to £62m, with operating profit up by 76 per cent to £78.4m.

There was a 29 per cent surge in revenue to £500m driven by a 14 per cent increase in core completions to 2,153 units. The average selling price also grew by 14 per cent, to £227,000.

Miller said its order book was currently running about 15 per cent ahead of last year.

The company shelved plans for a flotation in 2014, attributing the decision to turbulent market conditions, but has not ruled out such a move in the future.

READ MORE: Miller Homes pulls plug on £450m float

Endsor told The Scotsman: “We pulled back due to the market conditions at the time and history has proved that to be the right decision. It remains an option going forward but we have banking facilities in place for the next five years to help us deliver out growth plans.”

The firm said the extension of Help to Buy schemes “ensures continued support for the mainstream new build market and particularly first-time buyers”.