Scottish housebuilder Springfield enjoys record order book after lockdown lift

Scottish housebuilder Springfield Properties is on track for “significant” full-year growth after reporting a solid first half and racking up a record order book.

The group, which recently sealed its third acquisition since floating on the stock market in 2017, said it was continuing to experience high demand across the business.

On the private housing front 197 homes were completed in the first half, down from 299 a year earlier, which bosses said reflected the more normal seasonal phasing of completions across the financial year. The first half of 2021 had been boosted by completions that had been scheduled for the end of 2020 but delayed due to lockdown.

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A record order book will be delivered in the second half of 2022 following the strong sales performance.

Springfield Properties, which operates out of offices in Elgin and Larbert, has developments in various locations across the country.Springfield Properties, which operates out of offices in Elgin and Larbert, has developments in various locations across the country.
Springfield Properties, which operates out of offices in Elgin and Larbert, has developments in various locations across the country.

There were 204 affordable homes completed in the first half, up from 126 a year earlier, reflecting delivery against the group’s “substantial” contracted affordable order book.

The firm is on track to deliver a record year in affordable housing, with year-on-year revenue expected to increase by some 35 per cent. Springfield also commenced generating revenue under a private rented sector housing contract.

The first-half results, covering the six months to the end of November, revealed a pre-tax profit of £6.2 million, down from £8.6m in the same period a year earlier. Revenues came in at £87.3m, down from £94.4m. The previous first-half numbers reflected additional sales from completions rolled over as a result of the pandemic.

An interim dividend of 1.5p per share was declared, up from 1.3p a year earlier.

Chief executive Innes Smith said: “This was a strong period for Springfield. We continued to experience high demand across the business and our total order book grew to a record level.

“We entered the second half on track for strong growth for [full-year] 2022 in line with market expectations. This confidence is based on homes completed, reserved and missived, and our highest ever revenue in affordable housing, giving us significant visibility over our revenue forecasts.

“Our position was further strengthened, post period, with the acquisition of Tulloch Homes. This enhances our foothold in the Highlands, an area of strategic importance, and will accelerate our growth, being earnings enhancing from the current year,” he added.

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At the start of December, the group agreed a £56 million-plus deal for Highlands housebuilder Tulloch Homes.

Bosses at Springfield, which is Scotland’s only quoted housebuilder, described Inverness-based Tulloch as a “profitable, cash generative and well-run housebuilder”.

Smith said: “This is another great acquisition for Springfield - and our third since coming to the market in 2017.”

The group, which is listed on the Alternative Investment Market, raised some £22m from shareholders to partially fund the acquisition.

Springfield, which operates out of offices in Elgin and Larbert, with developments in various locations across the country, has previously acquired Livingston-based Walker Group and Glasgow-based Dawn Homes.

Several housebuilders have reported changing demand patterns in the wake of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions forcing more people to work from home.

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