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Restructuring pays off

Souter-backed builder AMA returns to profit

Sir Brian SouterThe Brian Souter-backed restructuring of construction company AMA has paid off with a return to profit and higher footfall at its latest developments.

AMA joint managing director Ali Afshar said prospects for this year are “extremely encouraging”. It is working on sites at Cramond in Edinburgh, and the former Fountain brewery land now known as Springside.

In November 2014, the group completed a restructuring involving Souter Investments that added more than £21 million to its balance sheet, completely wiping out bank debt.

Turnover increased by more than £3m to £14m and pre-tax profits rebounded to £1m following a loss of £3.5m in 2013.

Apart from the refinancing, AMA benefited from a major recovery in average house prices last year from £273,000 to £448,000.

Dr Afshar said: “AMA developments continue to command higher unit prices than the industry norm and we are confident this trend will continue as it reflects the company’s ethos of consistent and uncompromising build quality.”

In the last year the group diversify its portfolio to include residential and commercial developments, serviced apartments and student accommodation.

Mixed-use developments will feature prominently and its construction arm will become a main contractor rather than focusing on only fit-out.

The group will continue to focus on the Edinburgh property market and the next 12 months will see the continuation of the final phase of the development at Springside, further phases at Cramond and the completion of student accommodation and the residential element at Slateford Road.

Planning applications are being pursued for three additional developments at Belford Road, Springwell House and Fusion House in Edinburgh.

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