House-builder plans flotation
House-builder Countryside Properties has announced plans to float on the London Stock Exchange.
The plan is to raise £114m, using £64m to reduce debt and £50m to invest in housing developments.
Countryside was founded in Essex in 1958 by Alan Cherry and first floated in 1972. In 2005 Copthorn Holdings, a 50:50 joint venture between the Cherry family and the Bank of Scotland (part of Lloyds Banking Group) acquired control of the company and in 2008 Lloyds Banking Group took majority control. In 2013 investment funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management took control.
For the year to 30th September 2015 Countryside Properties reported revenues of £616m and underlying operating profit of £91m. Total housing completions for the year were 2,364 units. Roughly half the business is in urban regeneration.
Chief executive Ian Sutcliffe said: "Over the last two years our focus has been on strengthening the group's core businesses of Housebuilding and Partnerships and enhancing volumes and returns. Today we are delivering significant growth in the sector, have a truly differentiated business model and are providing strong returns. In both our businesses we are focused on place-making. In Housebuilding, we are bringing strategically sourced land through the planning process in the southeast. In Partnerships, now almost 50% of group revenue, we have 30 years' experience and benefit from a low risk model with excellent returns. We have outstanding visibility to support our three-year plan of growing to over 3,600 units per annum, with operating margins of over 17% and ROCE [return on capital employed] of over 28% for the group. We look forward to the future with confidence."
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This article was published on 14 Jan 2016 (last updated on 14 Jan 2016).