Edinburgh-based contractor and developer Miller Group wants to buy a housebuilder to expand its housing business in the Midlands and the south of England.
Chief executive Keith Miller said: “We’re always looking at acquisitions. At any one time we’re looking at two deals.”

He said geographical expansion would be the driver behind housing acquisitions, whereas the aim in Miller’s two other core businesses, property and construction, would be “to pick up new skills”.

Privately owned Miller last week announced a pre-tax profit of £38.2m, up 86% on the previous year. The construction services division’s profit grew from £900,000 in 2000 to £5m in 2001.

Miller claimed the company had a strong outlook thanks to a forward housing sales level of 50%, up 12% on last year, and “a pretty full construction order book”.

The firm is negotiating final planning consent for the 500-acre Omega project, a joint venture with Royal Bank of Scotland to create a business park with 5.5 million ft2 of office space near Warrington.