Mactaggart & Mickel sales build but earnings dip amid uncertainty

Carrongrove House near Denny in Falkirk was one of Mactaggart & Mickel's developments to launch in the year. Picture: Nick Callaghan
Carrongrove House near Denny in Falkirk was one of Mactaggart & Mickel's developments to launch in the year. Picture: Nick Callaghan
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Glasgow-headquartered Mactaggart & Mickel has built up annual turnover as house sales climbed despite trading amid “unprecedented uncertainty”.

The family-owned property and housebuilding group reported a rise in turnover to £84.7 million in the year to 30 April, up from £82.3m in 2018.

Ed Monaghan cheered 'great results in a time when most sectors are operating amid unprecedented uncertainty'. Picture: Contributed

Ed Monaghan cheered 'great results in a time when most sectors are operating amid unprecedented uncertainty'. Picture: Contributed

Mactaggart & Mickel sold 225 homes, rising from 196 in the previous year, with new developments launched at Stewart Gardens in Newton Mearns, Carrongrove House near Denny in Falkirk and St Jude’s Meadow in Oxfordshire.

Despite pre-tax profits dropping by £2m to £12.1m in the year, chief executive Ed Monaghan cheered “great results in a time when most sectors are operating amid unprecedented uncertainty”.

The financial year saw the group invest in establishing its English housebuilding arm, where it has appointed managing director Joanne Casey to head up the division.

Its first housing site has already launched south of the Border, with several currently under development throughout Oxfordshire and set to come to market next year.

Monaghan told The Scotsman: “There’s still significant demand for new homes across our two sectors in Scotland and England. The challenges in the sector seem to be numerous and many, but I think there’s still a strong marketplace and our results show that.”

Downsizing

He pointed in particular to the growing market for downsizing, where demand is expected to rise further to accommodate the UK’s ageing population.

He said: “We’ve always offered a range of products, but unquestionably that downsizing market is one we’d like to tap into in the future.

“We probably do that already, but it is a market that the industry generally will need to focus on in the coming years.”

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Land sales in Scotland and England boosted revenues and accounted for an increasing portion of profits as the group offloaded a total of 1,074 land plots with planning permission after a number of long-term projects came to fruition.

The year to April also saw the group invest in a commercial property portfolio outside the European Union for the first time after rekindling its relationship Mactaggart Family & Partners, with which it was joined from 1925 until 1943 before the Mickel family concern was separated off.

The reunion has seen Mactaggart & Mickel invest in commercial properties in two areas of New York City, where the Mactaggart family group has a base.

More recently it has also led to a £10m acquisition of two offices in Edinburgh’s New Town.

Looking ahead, Monaghan added: “It will continue to be a challenging environment.

“Like any business we would just like to have certainty. The more certain we can be, the clearer we can be in our investments.”