Losses narrow

Home buyers undeterred by cost of living says Milne

Stewart Milne - housing and housebuilding
Stewart Milne Group saw losses narrow

House builder Stewart Milne Group said there were few signs of rising living costs and interest rates impacting on sales.

Buyers were, however, looking to more energy-efficient homes and larger properties with room for offices.

Chief executive Stuart MacGregor acknowledged that surging inflation was presenting a major challenge to household incomes, but the company has continued to see strong reservation rates.

The cost of living crisis has emerged since the company’s last financial year which showed a a narrowing of losses and 13% jump in turnover for the 12 months to the end of 31 October 31.

The company, which last month put itself up for sale, posted pre-tax losses of £8.1m for 2020-21, following a trading deficit of £71.5m the year before.

There was an operating profit of £13.5m before one-off items, against £800,000 previously. Turnover rose to £305.5m last year, from £269.7m in 2019-20.

Mr MacGregor said there is “good interest” in the business from a range of potential buyers and that he expected a sale before the end of the year.

SMG is now wholly focused on housebuilding, having last year sold kit home business, Stewart Milne Timber Systems to Fife-based timber giant James Donaldson & Sons for an undisclosed sum.

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