Scottish housebuilder also reported 9% fall in turnover, but chief executive says worst of crisis is over
Miller Group this week posted its biggest half-year loss since the early nineties but chief executive Keith Miller said the worst of the economic crisis was behind the industry.
The Edinburgh-based firm, which is the UK’s largest privately owned housebuilder and contractor, posted a pre-tax loss of £33.8m in the six months to the end of June, an increase on the £22.2m loss for the same period a year ago.
Miller said: “Our markets are showing some signs of stability and there are positive indications of recovery ahead. Asset markets are also slowly improving, reflected by our performance in housing where reservations and volumes are considerably ahead of 2008.
“Markets remain challenging, house prices are down 18% on their peak a couple of years ago, but the Bank of England’s quantitive easing and government measures have helped the sector.”
Miller said it was too early to say when the company would return to the black but added that it had a strong forward order book and its diverse base meant it was well placed to benefit from the improving market.
Turnover was £404m, down 9%, although Miller’s construction division suffered only a slight drop to £228m. Miller said the division had an order book of £600m compared with £800m last year.
Lloyds Banking Group holds a 20% equity stake in the group following its acquisition of HBOS.
The rest of the company remains in the hands of the Miller family and staff.
Miller said Lloyds was a long-term investor in the company and had no plans to sell its stake.
For more on the history of Miller search www.building.co.uk/archive