Investing in land coupled with consumer demand has driven a rapid rise in profit and sales at North East housebuilder Story Homes.
The Cumbrian-headquartered developer opened its first permanent base in Newcastle last year, creating new jobs as the firm ramps up its activities in the North East.
The move has helped increase turnover to £47.9m in the firm’s accounts for the year ended March 2014, a rise of 82%, while operating profit soared more than threefold, to £6.27m from £1.76m.Pre-tax profit also more than doubled from £3.18m to £7.6m.
More than 30 new recruits also joined the business in the period, taking total headcount to 141 – 20 of whom now cover the North East from the firm’s base in Panther House, Newcastle Business Park.
During the accounts period the firm made 251 legal completions, up from the previous 12 months’ 151 completions, and the company expects to deliver more than 400 completions in the current financial year, with 550 targeted for 2016.
The firm said it had successfully expanded its operations into the North East and Lancashire, and is poised to grow further this year.
The firm has benefited greatly from a £25m loan facility from Lloyds Bank – a facility that has funded the ongoing purchase of both strategic and development land which underpins future growth.
Investments have also been made into IT and infrastructure, building on solid foundations put in place in 2013, and an investment programme will continue this year.
Steve Errington, chief executive of the Carlisle-headquartered business, said: “Story Homes is in a period of rapid expansion, reflected in the latest figures from Companies House.
“Demand for our product, combined with astute land investment over the years, has put us in an excellent position to expand Story Homes across the North. From our Carlisle roots we now have developments in Scotland, Cumbria, Lancashire and the North East.
“We’ve also invested in our staff with new recruits and we’ve put in place a learning and development programme. Our North East operation is central to these expansion plans.
“Last year we opened a new Newcastle base to support this and we’ve now got 20 staff working in the region and have created jobs through the use of local sub-contractors.
“Story Homes builds a quality product in the places in which people want to live. That has led the expansion of our business which will continue to grow in the coming years.”