Cruden overcomes '˜challenges' with 17th year of profits

Construction and housebuilding firm Cruden Group has notched up its 17th profitable year in a row and highlighted a solid order book and strong finances.

Cruden said its profits and order book grew despite 'recent economic challenges'. Picture: Contributed

Results released today by the Edinburgh-headquartered group show that overall profit before tax increased to £7.5 million from £7.1m a year earlier. Turnover in the 12 months to the end of March rose to £154.2m from £142.1m in 2015.

Founded in 1943, the business has some 600 employees across three offices in Edinburgh, East Lothian and Glasgow and over the years it has built or modernised in excess of 130,000 properties. It is a key player at both the affordable and luxury ends of the market.

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The latest accounts show that turnover at the core construction arm grew by 8 per cent to £136m, as the firm continued to focus on the building and refurbishment of residential housing for public sector clients. The number of homes sold by the group also rose, including a jump in the volumes sold through joint ventures, leading to an average sales value of £259,000, up from £181,000 last year.

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Kevin Reid, group managing director, said: “Despite recent economic challenges, our order book continues to grow, and our diversified business model and positive cash position will allow the group to maintain this steady progress in the current financial year. To have had 17 consecutive years of profitable trading is a wonderful achievement.

“Cruden Group is an innovative business with very experienced and capable teams and a high quality brand. Our flexible business model has always allowed us to take advantage of opportunities when they come our way, and we look forward to this continuing during 2017 and beyond.”

The company’s net assets stand at £38.8m, up from £35.6m, while access to a £9m banking facility remains undrawn.

Bosses highlighted a number of key projects on the construction front, including the delivery of 96 flats for “mid-market” rent at the Harbour Point development in Edinburgh, with a further 146 units in the pipeline.

A focus on the health and education sectors has also culminated in a number of new projects, including a new care home at Pinkhill at Corstorphine in Edinburgh, student accommodation at Buccleuch Street in the Scottish capital and Pinkie Primary School in East Lothian.

As part of the Glasgow City Legacy consortium, Cruden has completed retrofit works on the Commonwealth Games athletes’ village. Some 400 houses have been handed over to clients for rent, and all 300 private homes sold out “well ahead of schedule”, the firm added.

The group’s Scholars Park development in Currie, comprising a mix of 48 apartments and family houses, was entirely sold off-plan, with the development due to complete early in 2017. The scheme is said to have proved “extremely attractive to young couples, families and downsizers”.