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Investors 'concerned'

Planning delays putting recovery at risk says Murray

David D Murray

David Murray: ‘strategic decisions are now being rewarded’

David D Murray says delays in the planning system for major schemes is putting the recovery and jobs at risk.

Mr Murray, managing director of Murray Capital Group, the private investment office of the Murray family, said “many investors” had “very real concerns” about obstacles at local and government level.

Announcing the firm’s return to profit, he said: “We have started the current financial year [the year ending June 2022] well with all of our main trading businesses contributing profitability, especially our Metals Group in which our long-term investment approach is now paying dividends.

“In our Estates business, we continue to make significant investment in all of our sites, however, delays in the planning system at both a council and government level continue to pose an obstacle to much-needed family and affordable housing, schools and supporting infrastructure.

“We remain patient investors in what are strategically important sites for the country but have very real concerns, shared by many investors, that the planning system is putting jobs and recovery at risk.

“As a family business we remain committed to thinking and acting with a long-term view, deploying patient capital to the benefit of those we are invested in and creating value in the wider economy.”

Profit before tax for the year to the end of June came in at £9.8 million, turning around an £11.6m loss during the previous reporting period.

This was driven primarily by the sale of 68 acres of consented land at Torrance Park, the company’s development site in North Lanarkshire, to Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Developments and the metals business returning to profitability.

Turnover from continued operations was £83.5m, compared with £100.1m last year. However, that reporting period was 18 months (1 January 2019 to 30 June 2020) rather than 12.

It was also in this financial year that the planned transition in ownership of the business from Sir David Murray to his sons, David and Keith, was completed. Sir David remains as chairman of the group and retains a small, minority interest.

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The company’s principal activities are the provision of metal stockholding, processing and distribution; the development of land for the residential and commercial sectors; wine importing and distribution; and investment in private companies and real estate.

“We are pleased with the performance of the business this year, and the positive momentum it is showing , with a profit before tax of £9.8m representing a £21.3m swing compared with the previous reporting period,” said Mr Murray.

“Most of the losses for the period ended 2020 were exceptional in nature, relating to several impairments and restructuring costs in our portfolio.

“These strategic decisions are now being rewarded and we look forward to 2022 and beyond with renewed confidence. The strategy has created very solid foundations on which to build.”



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