Economic confidence boosts Miller Group 57%

Building giant Miller Group has announced a 57.6% surge in profits in tandem with an improving market.

Building giant Miller Group has announced a 57.6% surge in profits in tandem with an improving market.

The firm, which employs 1,485 employees, said all of its businesses – construction, homes, developments and mining – are well positioned to take advantage of improving conditions, having seen pre-tax profits rise to £10.4m in 2013, up from last year’s £6.6m.

Revenues rose 31.8% to £817.3, a lift of £197.4m, and group profit before interest and exceptional items of £31.9m is 9% ahead of last year. Net debt at the business was reduced by 16.4% to £168.8m. The builder is currently carrying out the redevelopment of Newcastle’s Stephenson Quarter and the Central Station, contracts worth £44m and £8.6m.

The Miller Homes division saw completions rise 12.1% to 2,053 and turnover was up 24.2% to £330m. Operating profit grew 57.2% to £22.8m.

Miller Construction, meanwhile, achieved a 57.6% increase in sales of £408.7m and has a record forward order book of £1.8bn, although it posted a £4.6m operating loss due to write-downs on a limited number of contracts.

The developments division made an operating profit of £8.4m compared with £5.4m in 2012, and the mining division achieved an operating profit of £4.7m compared with £7m on its joint venture share.

Chief executive Keith Miller said: “ All our businesses are now well positioned to take full advantage of improving market conditions.

“Miller Homes continues to benefit from increased demand, improving selling prices and a balanced sales mix, and is delivering increasing margins.

“In our construction business we have taken the necessary steps to deal with the loss-making contracts.

“Developments continues to perform well, underpinned by our longer term property assets. Mining has secured a full order book for 2014.

“The board is confident that group performance coupled with our strong financial base means we will continue to generate further value.

“This is a strong set of results which provides an excellent base from which to plan the next stage of Miller Group’s development.

“We can detect signs of increased business and consumer confidence as the UK’s economic performance continues to improve, with slow but steady Gross Domestic Product growth, historically low interest rate levels, and unemployment trending downwards.

“While economic recovery is taking longer than experienced in previous downturns, it does appear that the UK is, finally, moving in the right direction again.”

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