Springfiield furloughed over 90% of its 700 staff during lockdown

Pre-tax profit at listed Scottish housebuilder Springfield fell more than one third as the firm became the latest to lay the blame on covid-19 for eating into its numbers.

The firm said profit slumped 39% to £9.7m in the year to May with the firm racking up £400,000 in exceptional items to cover the costs of furloughing staff in April and May.

Springfield Dykes of Gray

Springfield, which was handed £2.7m in money from the government’s furlough scheme initiative, said it furloughed more than 90% of its staff, which numbered 705 according to its 2019 accounts, at the peak of lockdown but added 80% had been brought back by the end of July.

Revenue fell by 25% in the year, from £191m to £144m, as completions in the vital last two months of the financial year were delayed due to lockdown closing the housing market.

The housebuilder said the final two months of the financial year had in 2019 accounted for 30% of all sales. Completed sales in the year to May were 727, down from 952 in 2019.

But the firm said the combination of a strong market since restrictions were eased and the completion of covid-delayed sales had made for a strong first quarter of the new financial year.

It said reservations were so far running 24% ahead of that seen in the same period in 2019, adding that it expected total revenue for the 2020/21 year to be significantly higher than in 2019/20.