Cala Group 'on target' to hit £1bn turnover by 2020

Speaking to Construction News, the housebuilder’s chief executive Alan Brown said the group’s strategy was “to grow the business to over £1bn by 2020”.

“We have the infrastructure in place to deliver that, both the products, the people and the land,” he said.

The group posted a 15 per cent increase in turnover in its full-year results, with group revenue of £587.1m for the year to 30 June 2016, up from £511.6m a year earlier.

Pre-tax profit also jumped by 18 per cent to £60.1m in its latest results, up from £50.9m over the same period.

Mr Brown added that his firm had seen “no impact” on the business since the June EU referendum, and praised Theresa May’s new government for its recent moves to boost housebuilding.

Business secretary Sajid Javid yesterday announced a £3bn Home Builders Fund and a £2bn ‘Accelerated Construction’ scheme to speed up the construction of housing on brownfield land, which Mr Brown said he supported.

“Since 2010, the government has recognised we have a significant housing shortage, and that we need to do something about it,” he said.

”We’ve seen positive changes since then, and what I’m particularly pleased about is that since Theresa May became prime minister, if anything [the government]’s desire to solve the housing crisis has increased.”

The group, which focuses on Scotland, the Midlands and the South of England, has increased completions by 16 per cent in the last year, with 1,151 homes completed in the year to 30 June 2016, up from 993 a year earlier.

It has also added 30 sites to its porfolio in the financial year, which are projected to deliver nearly 2,700 homes in the near-term.

Cala saw gross margins from housing fall to 21.8 per cent from 23.5 per cent in its previous results, with a particular impact from changes to stamp duty hitting some of the firm’s luxury developments.

It also saw a slowdown in one of its core Scottish markets in Aberdeen, where house prices are continuing to fall due to the economic impacts of falling oil prices.

The group added that it had seen “a noticeable increase” in the number of outline planning approvals granted, and has now acquired land with planning permission for 3,078 homes across 34 sites, with a gross development value of £1bn.

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