Sir David Murray’s investment vehicle sees profits soar

Profits have soared at Sir David Murray's family investment vehicle. Picture: Neil Hanna
Profits have soared at Sir David Murray's family investment vehicle. Picture: Neil Hanna
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Murray Capital Group, the private investment company of former Rangers owner Sir David Murray’s family, has unveiled a dramatic increase in annual profits.

According to latest accounts filed with Companies House, the firm generated a pre-tax profit of £13.6 million for 2014, up from £48,000 the previous year.

The Edinburgh-based group said the surge was down to a “significant” increase in profits at its Brand Rex subsidiary, which makes fibre optic cables, along with the sale of some investments.

Turnover at Murray Capital Group grew 2 per cent to £145m, which the firm said reflected “continued strong trading” across its portfolio.

The firm is led by Sir David’s son – also called David Murray – who said the family was “very satisfied” with its financial results and forecast it was on course for another successful year in 2015.

He added: “It has been an active and successful year for us, especially with our estates business as we set about creating – and funding from our own financial resources – a substantial property portfolio for the future.” 

Murray Estates recently submitted a planning application for 1,500 family homes to be built in a “Garden District” beside Edinburgh Park in Gogarburn. The £1 billion scheme also proposes a new primary school, roads and street networks.

“This could play an important part in helping the city of Edinburgh meet housing need,” said Murray.

“The entire site could accommodate 6,000 new homes and we remain committed to this opportunity for the long term.”

He added: “Overall the family’s investment portfolio, both in trading businesses and real estate, continues to perform well, as we invest in our existing assets and look for potential new ones.

“The first half of the current year has been positive also and we continue to look to the future with confidence and optimism.”

Sir David, who sold Rangers to Craig Whyte for £1 in 2011, told The Scotsman earlier this year that his former metals and property empire Murray International Holdings (MIH) – which is separate from his family interests and Murray Capital investment vehicle – had been caught in a “perfect storm” as proceedings to liquidate the firm got under way.

After selling off its range of business interests over the past six years, MIH said it had secured employment for more than 95 per cent of the workforce, which stood at 3,000 in 2008.

Sir David said at the time: “I’m not trying to say it was easy, but we’ve come under the microscope because of the Rangers connection, and I can accept that. We haven’t run away from this – we’ve worked it out, and while it could have been better, it could have been a hell of a lot worse.”

Murray Capital Group’s accounts show that its highest-paid director received a total of £239,000 last year, down from £271,000 in 2013.

The firm said: “The profit performance across the whole portfolio in 2015 is strong and we anticipate a positive outturn in the current year.”