Urban Splash returned to profit in 2015 and chairman Tom Bloxham says it was the first year when the company could concentrate on developing new projects without distraction of financial restructuring for several years.
Pre-tax profit for the 12 months to the end of September were £3.0m compared to a loss of £43.4m the previous year, when the goodwill value of the business was marked down and a costly interest rate swap product hit the balance sheet.
There was an £11.6m increase in the value of the commercial property portfolio last year. Debt reduced and cash reserves were £7.8m at the year-end, increasing to £12.1m by 31 March 2016.
The significant volume of development the group undertook last year included progress with the hoUSe modular build concept at Stubbs Mill, New Islington in Manchester, Royal William Yard in Plymouth and New Hall in Fazakerley, Liverpool.
Urban Splash’s development work with JV partner Places for People continued in the year too; including the JV’s appointment on the Icknield Port Loop scheme in Birmingham, a major Brownfield site on which the JV will create more than 1,000 homes.
Urban Splash acquired a number of properties including 4 Canal Street in Manchester and land at Walsall Watefront and Irwell Riverside in Salford.
Bloxham said: “This year has been one of consolidation and development for Urban Splash, where for the first time in a number of years and without distraction, we have been able to fully engage in what we do best; delivering award winning, design-led and innovative regeneration schemes across the country.
“I am really pleased with the progress we have made in this last year on all fronts, including hoUSe – the first phase of which sold out fully in Manchester. I am genuinely excited about what the future holds and am very much looking forward to the year ahead.”
Bloxham continued: “The origins of Urban Splash date back to 1986 and this year will see the 30th anniversary of incorporating my first limited company, something I did at the tender age of 23 on 24 November 1986.
“The three decades since have seen the revival of many of our English cities the very word ‘urban’ has changed from once negative connotations of urban blight, urban decay and urban deprivation to a positive term. We are proud to have played a part in that transformation. We are extremely pleased that we have managed to fight our way through two tough recessions are now once again firing on all cylinders and developing new schemes across the country.”