Keepmoat, a privately owned housing and regeneration group, is expecting sales to hit £300m this year after increasing turnover 55% in 2003/04
The firm’s pre-tax profit for the year to 31 March 2004, rose 83% to £19m and turnover reached £241m.
Keepmoat, which operates in the Midlands and the north of England, has taken advantage of the increase in regional social housing work in the past few years. This includes repairs and maintenance for registered social landlords to meet the government’s Decent Homes Standard for existing homes. Contracts with local authorities or with arm’s length management organisations have also contributed.
The firm completed work on 18,000 homes last year through its three main operating divisions, Bramall Construction, Frank Haslam Milan and Haslam Homes.
The firm appointed three staff members to the board to cope with the increase in work. They are Roger Ward, director of regeneration, David Harding, director of homes, and Eugien Jaruga, partnership director.
Dick Watson, chairman of Keepmoat, who took over from Terry Bramall, fellow joint founder of the group, on 1 April, said the prospects for growth in the firm’s market were strong.
He pointed to cities such as Leeds and Sheffield that were starting to upgrade their housing stocks and to others cities such as Newcastle and Nottingham that had not yet started. He said: “There is an enormous amount of work to do.”
Watson said he was confident that any slowdown in the housing market would not affect Keepmoat’s social housebuilding division. The average selling price of social houses rose 20% to £91,000 between 2003 and 2004.
He said: “We have got a good landbank, which I am sure will withstand even a hard landing in the market.”
Watson said the firm would not float on the stock exchange. He said: “We have flirted with the idea on a couple of occasions but there is no reason to do it. We are not short of funds and do not want to cash in yet.”