Commercial Property News

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Thursday, March 16, 2024

Miller Group profits up 40% for 2005

Miller Group, the privately-owned builder, grew pre-tax profits 40%, to 76m, helped by the 262m acquisition of Fairclough Homes. Chief executive Keith Miller said the company was ready and able to complete another takeover on that scale to maintain growth.

Low interest rates and the stable economy helped the company grow reservations by 35% in the first 10 weeks of this year, and Miller said it was ready to spend to help ensure it makes the most of good conditions for housebuilders.

Targeting sales of 4000 housing units this year, compared with 700 six years ago, Miller is the eighth-biggest housebuilder in the UK. In terms of operating profit margins Miller ranks sixth, proving it can compete with the majors.

Growth in the key housing division helped Miller increase turnover 19% in 2005 to 805m. Average prices rose 6% to 185,000. Operating margins increased from 15% to 16%.

Miller Developments, Miller Group's property development and investment arm, spent 60 million euros (41.4m) on investments in Europe last year, and is planning to spend 500m euros this year, on top of the 150m planned in the UK.

The operation now has 3.7 billion worth of property investment under its control, and Keith Miller says it could quite justifiably be called Scotland's biggest overseas property investor.

Property development and investment accounted for 16.7 per cent of group turnover and 17.4 per cent of profits last year. In Europe, retail development projects are under way in joint ventures with local companies in Spain, Portugal, Hungary and Denmark.