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The Cruden group announces nineteenth consecutive year of profitable trading

Posted: 23rd October 2018

The Cruden Group, one of Scotland’s largest independently owned and longest established construction and residential development businesses, has today announced turnover of £188.6m and pre-tax profit of £9m as part of its audited results up to 31 March 2018.

Formed in 1943 and now in its 75th year of operation, the multi-award winning Cruden Group specialises in providing high quality housing, both for sale and for affordable rent.

This latest set of financial results means the Group has enjoyed its nineteenth consecutive year of profitable trading.

Group turnover was £188.6m (2017: £200.6m), while Group profit before tax was £9m (2017: £10.5m). The company’s net assets have increased to £44.7m (2017: £41.6m), providing a stable platform for future growth.

The reduction in turnover can be attributed to the lower volume of private homes sold by the Group in the year – falling to 158 from 280 in 2017.  This decrease in sales is a simple consequence of timing in the development process, and it is fully anticipated that this number will exceed 220 in the year to 31 March 2019.  The average house sale value increased to £270,000 (2017: £226,000) due to the diverse range of homes settling.

Construction turnover increased by 4% to £167m (2017: £160m) with activity concentrating on building affordable homes for housing associations, local authorities and other publicly funded clients.  Cruden’s forward order book in this core activity has continued to grow as the Group has geared up to help meet the Scottish Government’s Affordable Housing targets.  As a result, headcount has increased since 31 March 2018 to a current headcount of 655. In the East of Scotland, headcount has grown by approximately 12% in 6 months which coincides with a move to an innovatively designed, new regional headquarters in Edinburgh.

The Group is continuing its recruitment drive to meet growing activity levels. In a bid to tackle the industry’s ongoing skills shortage, the Group has also increased its Modern Apprenticeship Programme to 90 employees, creating a pipeline of skilled operatives for the future.

The Group – which has approximately 60 active sites across Scotland at any given time – continues to focus on innovation, energy efficiency, regeneration and affordability, supported by its bespoke and flexible offering and wealth of expertise.  Whilst turnover may have dropped slightly in the 2018 financial year, the Group’s recent growth path led to its inclusion in the Sunday Times Top Track 250 List.

Kevin Reid, Cruden Group Managing Director, said:
To have had nineteen consecutive years of profitable trading is a tremendous achievement, especially against the challenging economic backdrop we’ve had during this period.

“Despite unsettled economic conditions, demand in the housing market remains encouraging and we continue to see strong interest in our diverse range of quality, affordable and energy efficient family homes.  The continued availability of Help to Buy (Scotland) has also been beneficial to our first-time buyers and has given them a welcome first step on to the housing ladder.

“We have a strong forward order book and this will generate increased levels of activity in the construction of much needed affordable housing for our clients, and their prospective tenants.  The outlook looks positive for the year ahead and I expect our turnover to increase in line with this, and with our own exciting future plans for our next phase of private housing developments in key locations across central Scotland.”

“The skills shortage remains an industry-wide issue, so ongoing recruitment, training and skills development is a key focus at Cruden.  We are actively seeking motivated people at all levels within the business to contribute to our future growth and are delighted with our increased complement of 90 apprentices in training at the Cruden Academy”.

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