Cala, the Scottish housebuilder that went private last year after a highly public battle for control of the company, saw a slight fall in pre-tax profit for the year to 30 June 1999.

The company’s annual report reveals a dip in pre-tax profit from £10.7m to £10m for the period.

Group finance director Robert Dick said the fall was because the management buyout cost the company £1.9m in legal and other costs. Cala managers, led by chairman Geoff Ball, fought off a rival bid from Scottish contractor Miller last June.

Cala, which has divisions in Scotland, the South-east, Yorkshire and the West Midlands, sold 422 houses in the year, down from 578 in 1998.

However, the report showed that average selling price rose from £159 000 to £215 000. Dick said the increase was because of the firm’s move upmarket rather than because of house price inflation.

Turnover from the housing business was down from £104m to £91m, but Dick expected turnover to rise in 2000.

He added that the company’s strategy would now be to grow organically through its four divisions. “We don’t need to make any acquisitions because we have more than enough to do with our existing businesses,” he said.