Healthy financials at social housing group believed to be drawing interest from private equity

Social housing group Keepmoat has announced that profit rose by one-quarter from £20.8m to £25.9m in 2008.

In the year to 30 September 2008, there was also a 4% increase in turnover from £260m to £271m.

Chief executive David Blunt said: “The interim performance reflects on an economic and financial environment that has taken many by surprise. Overall the business is in a healthy shape to meet all challenges from what many commentators believe to be a very difficult period ahead.”

Last week Building revealed that several private equity firms are circling the company, including 3i, Bridgepoint and Cognetas.

It is understood they are attracted by the secure revenues of the social housing sector.

Newly merged bank Lloyds TSB HBOS has a minority stake in the company and is understood to be seeking to sell or unwind its property investments.

It also has a stake in social housing group Apollo, and some sources close to the situation suggested that the two could be packaged together for sale, although Blunt denied the story.