Hill builds war chest for south west push

Aaron Morby 4 years ago
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The country’s third largest private house builder, Hill Group, is pressing ahead with plans to expand into the south west.

Chief executive Andy Hill says the firm has built up net assets of nearly £200m and holds £63m of net cash to get through coronavirus crisis
Chief executive Andy Hill says the firm has built up net assets of nearly £200m and holds £63m of net cash to get through coronavirus crisis

Like other developers, Hill has shutdown most of its sites across it main operating regions in the South East and Eastern England.

But the firm, which today reported robust results for 2019, said it was still planning to establish a regional office in Bristol to head up its south west ambitions.

Andy Hill, CEO of the Hill Group, said: “Yet again the business has delivered a very strong financial performance, leaving us extremely well placed to see further growth and profitability over the medium term.

“While the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the wider economy is not yet known, we have successfully stress-tested the financial resilience of the business in multiple scenarios and we are well capitalised with a robust balance sheet which is demonstrated by our auditors signing off our accounts during these uncertain times.

“As a privately owned business we are not subject to the pressures and fluctuations of the stock market, so we can take a long term view at times like this and seize opportunities to build our pipeline and invest in growth areas.

“We are very much open for business, with several exciting partnerships in the pipeline and we are currently sourcing, and transacting on, new land opportunities.”

Started by the former Willmott Dixon director 21 years ago, his family-owned business posted a record turnover last year up 16% to £583m.

Planning delays saw profit slip 12% to £423m, but ahead of budgeted predictions at the start of the year.

Hill has built up a strong balance sheet with net assets approaching £200m and £63m of net cash.

He said the firm’s firm footing was also supported by £270m of secured undrawn banking facilities.

The house builder completed 1,800 new homes in the year, up 16% year on year of which 1,120 were delivered from private sales and joint venture activities.

The secured pipeline of 6,500 homes includes new joint venture partnerships with local authorities, housing associations and private companies as well as developments within the new south west region.

 

 

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