Housebuilder and contractor remains optimistic despite 25% fall in turnover

Miller Group has continued to operate in the red, posting a £72.4m pre-tax loss – an improvement on last year’s £170m loss.

The Edinburgh-based firm, which is the UK’s largest privately owned housebuilder and contractor, also saw a 25% fall in turnover to £783m from £1bn. It also sold just 12 more homes in 2009, totalling 2,068, compared to the previous year.

But chief executive Keith Miller remains optimistic and said that 33 of the group’s sites are currently progressing through planning, with 1,000 plots set to be acquired in 2010/2011.

He added: “Our commercial property portfolio is in good shape, making a positive return over both direct operational and finance costs. We have recommenced activity on our major strategic landholdings in Islington, Birmingham, Warrington and Edinburgh.”

In its annual report the group also said activity in the housing sector was “encouraging”, with forward sales of 1,010 units posted, 13% ahead of 2009.