Process to offload £172m business had been on hold in wake of last year’s mini-Budget

Stewart Milne’s board has once again put the Scottish housebuilder up for sale following a return to profit for the business thanks in part to the sale of its timber frame business.

The firm recorded pre-tax profit of £16.5m in the year to October 2022, in contrast to the £13m loss of the previous year, according to its annual report and financial statements filed at Companies House.

The Aberdeen-based company was put up for sale last April but it put the process on pause eight months later citing “uncertainty in the market”.

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Proceeds from the sale of its timber frame business helped the housebuilder return to the black last year

Now, having reported a turnover of £172m – down 22% on the £221m posted the previous year – and a return to profit, it has confirmed that “directors have re-commenced [the] sales process in 2023” to find a new buyer for the Stewart Milne Home business.

In a note accompanying the accounts, Fraser Park, group finance director, added: “We believe the outlook for the business is highly encouraging and we look forward to working with new owners to drive further profitable growth.”

Stewart Milne has offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester and employs around 1,000 people including subcontractors.

In its latest results, the firm said the number of units delivered in 2022 was 583, down from 828 the previous year.

“While turnover at £172m was less than 2021, this reflected reduced investment in land during covid which has a consequent impact on this financial year,” Park said.

The results include £48m pocketed from the sale of Stewart Milne’s timber frame business to Donaldson Group in 2021. A further gain of £11m was recorded from the liquidation of its subsidiary, Countesswells Development Limited. The combined £59m offset operating losses of £34m, the firm said.

Stewart Milne also said it repaid £61m of its debt to the Bank of Scotland and has a remaining debt facility of £114m.