Edinburgh's Murray Capital Group swings to profit but raises planning concerns

Murray Capital Group, the private investment office of the Murray family, has swung to profit and created “strong foundations for future growth”.

The latest accounts cover a financial period that saw the planned transition in ownership of the business from Sir David Murray to his sons, David and Keith, completed.

Profit before tax came in at £9.8 million, compared with an £11.6m loss during the previous reporting period.

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This was driven primarily by the sale of 68 acres of consented land at Torrance Park, the company’s development site in North Lanarkshire, to Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Developments and the metals business returning to profitability.

David D Murray, managing director of Edinburgh-based Murray Capital Group.
David D Murray, managing director of Edinburgh-based Murray Capital Group.
David D Murray, managing director of Edinburgh-based Murray Capital Group.

The previous reporting period, to the end of June 2020, was extended to 18 months, while the latest one spans 12 months.

Turnover from continuing operations totalled £83.5m, compared with £100.1m in the prior 18-month period.

Murray Capital managing director David D Murray said: “We are pleased with the performance of the business this year, and the positive momentum it is showing.

“Most of the losses for the period ended 2020 were exceptional in nature, relating to several impairments and restructuring costs in our portfolio. These strategic decisions are now being rewarded and we look forward to 2022 and beyond with renewed confidence. The strategy has created very solid foundations on which to build.

“We have started the current financial year [the year ending June 2022] well with all of our main trading businesses contributing profitability, especially our metals group in which our long-term investment approach is now paying dividends.

“In our estates business, we continue to make significant investment in all of our sites, however, delays in the planning system at both a council and government level continue to pose an obstacle to much-needed family and affordable housing, schools and supporting infrastructure.

“We remain patient investors in what are strategically important sites for the country but have very real concerns, shared by many investors, that the planning system is putting jobs and recovery at risk.”

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The company’s principal activities are the provision of metal stockholding, processing and distribution; the development of land for the residential and commercial sectors; wine importing and distribution; and investment in private companies and property.

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