Miller Group posts £35.6m pre-tax profit

The Edinburgh-based firm behind Warrington's Omega development has posted a 233% increase in pre-tax profit for the year to 31 December 2014, up to £34.6m from £10.4m in 2013.

Revenue for the house building, property, development and construction business was £484.4m compared to £408.6m in the previous year, while net assets were valued at £271.6m, up from £236.7m.

The Miller Homes division recorded a 12% improvement on completion rates with 1,918 units delivered in 2014 compared to 1,707 homes in 2013. Miller attributed this to a strong opening order book and a 6% increase in private reservation rates.

Turnover was up by 19% to £391.9m, with increased volumes and a 10% improvement in average selling price to £200,000, from £181,000 in 2013.

Housing schemes with planning consent increased to 10,012 plots, equivalent to five years' supply. Planning applications have been made on 2,677 plots from Miller's strategic land portfolio.

Miller Developments is the joint venture partner with KUC Properties, part of the Royal Bank of Scotland, at Omega in Warrington. The development division posted a profit of £7.6m, which Miller said was "driven by pre-let and funded developments at our key long-term development sites in Aberdeen and at Omega in Warrington".

Two occupiers were secured at Omega South during 2014 taking the total of deals over the last two years to over 1.5m sq ft: a 685,000 sq ft distribution unit for The Hut Group, and a 240,000 sq ft manufacturing facility for Plastic Omnium. On Omega North, practical completion was achieved on a 770,000 sq ft distribution centre for Travis Perkins.

Miller Developments is due to submit a planning application for 1,100 homes at Omega Warrington by the autumn.

Keith Miller, chief executive, said: "Miller Homes delivered a strong performance in 2014 benefiting particularly from continued improvements in the housing market. The business achieved significant growth in operating margins and return on capital driven by higher volumes and the increased contribution from newly acquired sites.

"In the rest of the group, Miller Developments experienced strong occupier and investor demand on its key long-term developments whilst Miller Mining continued to deliver profits and positive cash flow in a difficult market."

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