Miller Construction order book rises a third

Aaron Morby 12 years ago
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Miller’s construction arm slipped into the red in the first six months of the year despite a turn around in fortunes at the rest of the group.

The dip at construction from a £1.4m profit in the first half last year to a £800,000 loss was put down to increase business development expenditure. Turnover remained flat at £113m.

But Kieth Miller, group chief executive said the hard work had brought in £320m of orders in the first half, lifting the total order book to £805m, up 34% on last year.

Contracts were secured on all five existing framework agreements: NHS ProCure 21+, Royal Mail, Ministry of Justice, North Hub and IESE.

Overall the Miller Group returned a pre-tax profit of £400,000, compared to a loss of £53m last time.

The improvement follows the £160m refinancing deal earlier this year that handed over 55% of the family firm to US equity giant Blackstone.

Housing revenues remained flat at £125m, but the business delivered a significant rise in operating profit to £4.4m, compared to a loss £35m in the same period last year.

Total housing completions remained steady at 820 units at an increased average selling price of £170,000 (2011: £154,000).

Miller said: “Trading has remained steady; both turnover and total housing volumes are at the same level as last year against the backdrop of challenging market conditions.

“Looking ahead to the second half of 2012 and beyond, we are poised to increase turnover in line with the group’s expectations.

“We are also continuing to invest in high quality land and we anticipate spending £55m on new housing land during the remainder of the year which will support further sales outlet growth into 2013 and beyond.

“However, any real improvement in housing starts will only arise if there is a change in lenders’ strategies regarding the availability and pricing of mortgages.

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