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House builder restructures

Stewart Milne to axe up to 80 jobs as divisions merge

Jobs will go amid weakness

House builder Stewart Milne Group is expected to make up to 80 employees redundant, amid weaker trading since the lockdown was imposed.

A slowdown in demand reflects the softening in the oil and gas sector and the Aberdeen-based company will be merging its two homes divisions in Scotland – central and north.

Jonathan Fair, currently managing director of Stewart Milne Homes Central, will head up the combined division. Neil Thomson, regional director for Stewart Milne Homes North, will be deputy managing director of the enlarged unit.

Stewart Milne Group chief executive Stuart MacGregor said: “We fully appreciate that this is a painful process given the current economic climate where many more people are also facing uncertainty. We are committed to managing the process as efficiently, fairly and transparently as possible.”

He said sales had improved post-lockdown but the market remains more challenging due to a historic over-supply of properties and a significant drop in house prices as a result of almost six years of an oil and gas downturn.

Stewart Milne Group said the loss of nearly three months of trading because of the restrictions put in place to slow the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus had inevitably impacted on financial performance.

However, it added that, since coming out of lockdown, it had achieved strong sales performance across Scotland and north-west England, Tayside, the central belt of Scotland and north-west England.

Mr MacGregor said: “Regrettably, our restructure will impact on jobs and we are embarking on a consultation process which will put 60 to 80 posts at risk of redundancy in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Manchester from a total of almost 1,000.

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but one based on what is best for the longer-term future of the business, protecting the majority of jobs and ensuring we are better positioned for growth in the next five years.”



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