Cala boosts completions by 46% in record profit year

Aaron Morby 7 years ago
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Upmarket builder Cala Homes hiked housing completions 46% in the year to June after a fifth-year of growth and record profits.

Chief executive Alan Brown warns of excessive planning delays
Chief executive Alan Brown warns of excessive planning delays

The uplift in completions to 1,677 homes has seen volumes rise by nearly 70% since the 2008, the fastest percentage growth of a volume house builder in the last decade.

Chief executive Alan Brown said Cala had made exceptional progress in transforming the size and scope of the business after a fifth consecutive year of record revenues and profits.

Revenues rose 27% to £748m alongside a 14% increase in profit before tax, exceptional items and revaluations to £68.5m.

“Following our record performance in 2017, we remain on course to achieve our stated strategic aim of building 2,500 units per annum by 2020 and have the infrastructure in place to deliver on these growth plans.

“We have entered the new financial year with strong trading momentum and, in the first ten weeks of 2017/18, net private reservations are up 34% on the same period last year with an average weekly reservation rate of 0.64 private sales per development,” he added.

Operating margins dipped from 14% last year to 12% due in part to lower sales prices on homes worth more than £1m, where higher rates of stamp duty dampened demand.

Browned warned that despite numerous Government initiatives in both Scotland and England aimed at increasing the overall supply of housing, the high level housing policy message has not translated into the smooth progress of sites through planning to development at a local level.

He said: “Cala continues to believe that planning departments are significantly under-resourced, and there has been an escalation of very real and considerable delays occurring to the approval of planning and reserved matters applications, drafting of section agreements and the discharge of conditions, holding up otherwise-approved development.

“As a result, housebuilders are being forced to resort more frequently to the lengthy and costly appeal process.”

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