Construction

Cruden confident of maintaining activity levels

Cruden Group
Cruden has a strong balance sheet

One of Scotland’s largest independently owned builders, the Cruden Group, believes it can maintain activity levels in the period to next March despite current economic pressures.

Chief executive Kevin Reid said the group’s ability to navigate the “challenging business environment” was underpinned by the strength of its balance sheet.

The group has a robust capital base with net assets at the year end of £50.4m and significant cash reserves of £51m, both of which combine to provide a solid platform for its operations. 

Its figures contrast with signs of a slowing market reported by Barratt and Bellway. The latter today said it had entered the new financial year with a strong forward order book, but given the backdrop of rising interest rates and wider economic uncertainty, the board currently expects to deliver volume at a similar level to the prior year.

Mr Reid, who reported a 23rd consecutive year of profitable trading to the end of March, said Cruden was showing “great resilience and adaptability in a dynamic and changing marketplace”.

He said the company has secured a solid forward order book, with public sector clients, and has the capacity to expand its house building activities “as market conditions allow”.

He added: Our ability to secure land, fund developments and deliver large construction projects, continues to set us apart from many of our competitors.

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“We have to recognise the challenges posed by ongoing macroeconomic uncertainty, but we remain optimistic about our future and anticipate that we can maintain activity levels in the period to March 2023. 

“The strength of the group’s balance sheet also enables us to navigate the challenging business environment currently presenting and look forward with confidence to the years ahead as fresh opportunities arise.” 

The group has secured a solid forward pipeline of work, both in house building and construction, and has benefited from the consistent high demand for new build housing, for private sale, from housing associations and local authorities, and from Build-To-Rent clients. 

Most recently, the construction arm, Cruden Building, was appointed to three separate multi-million-pound public sector procurement frameworks to address housing challenges across Scotland.  

The group, founded in 1943, builds nearly one in 15 homes in Scotland. It saw total turnover in the 12 months to 31 March 2022 increase by 29% to £247.4m (2021: £191.5m) and profit before tax increase to £4.9m (2021: £0.3m). The previous year was a period of continuing disruption because of the pandemic.

The housebuilding arm, Cruden Homes, saw the number of private housing sales rise to 174 homes (2021:159). 

The company also benefited from a 40% increase in average sales value to £314,000 (2021: £225,00), due to the mix of units settling, including a number of luxury housing developments. 

Cruden is currently delivering the design for two net zero housing developments in Edinburgh at Silverlea and Fountainbridge and is on site building Scotland’s first social housing development to ‘Passivhaus’ standard in Drymen, near Glasgow. 

The company has been appointed preferred bidder to drive forward the first phase of the £1.3bn regeneration at Granton Waterfront which includes detailed designs for around 850 Net Zero homes.



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