Scottish housebuilder Stewart Milne has launched an acquisition drive in England with the aim of doubling its turnover to £600m by 2011.
The private firm, which earlier this month announced a 40% jump in profit to £28m on turnover of £283m, announced on Tuesday that it had bought the Manchester firm Nuttall Construction for an undisclosed sum.
Glenn Allison, Stewart Milne’s managing director, said the Aberdeen company had been planning its assault on England for the past two years.
“This is part of a structured plan for growth. We carried out research over the past two years and north-west England was our preferred option of the three areas that were identified,” he said.
“We’d expect to double our turnover to around £600m within a five-year period. This growth will mainly come from new geographical growth.”
Allison added that, after allowing Nuttall to “bed in” for six months, Stewart Milne would turn its attention to the other two areas identified by the firm’s research.
We carried out research over the past two years and north-west England was our preferred option
Glenn Allison, managing director
These are Yorkshire and Humberside and the M11 housing growth corridor from London to Peterborough.
He said the company had a list of “potential targets” but that no talks had taken place.
Allison added that Stewart Milne would consider setting up its own operations in its target areas “if we can’t find what we’re looking for there”.
Nuttall currently builds 150 homes a year and employs 100 staff. Stewart Milne wants to grow this to 750 homes each year by 2010.