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Tue December 10 2019

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Cruden plots 25% housing expansion

6 days Cruden Group is targeting a 25% boost in the number of houses it builds over the coming year.

Kevin Reid
Kevin Reid

The group, which has delivered an average of 1,200 new-build homes in Scotland per annum over the past four years, is aiming to increase the total to 1,500.

Cruden Group chief executive Kevin Reid said: “It’s well documented that the country is suffering from an enormous undersupply of much needed new homes across all tenures. Despite political and economic uncertainties and challenges facing the housebuilding industry, we have made excellent progress this year and expanded our product offering to meet evolving market demands - paving the way for a bright future in years to come and helping to plug the housing gap. We have already seen a strong first six months of trading with turnover in the first six months of the year being £108 million and the group well on the way to meeting its target of delivering 1,500 new homes through a combination of private units for sale and those units delivered for our housing clients. Of our own brand private units for sale, we are 90% pre-sold for the year.”

Cruden been expanding its activities and working with its clients across both the public and private sectors and is increasing its investment in new housing, both in its own name, and with its joint venture partners. 

The group has reported its 20th consecutive year of profitable trading (£5.4m profit before tax) and recently reported turnover of over £190m, including £160m of construction for external clients, representing approximately 1,100 units. It also sold £30m of private housing of £30m, representing 180 homes sold in the year, including joint ventures.

For the year ahead, the group expects this turnover to increase by 25% to approximately £240m. It is aiming for £195m of construction services for housing clients - representing approximately 1,250 units - and £45m from the delivery of approximately 250 homes for private sale, including joint ventures. This is set to give a total of approximately 1,500 new homes out of an average of 18,000 built each year in Scotland since 2015.

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Current projects include Waverley Square
Current projects include Waverley Square

Cruden builds new homes across an average of 45 active sites at any time and the group employs of 600 members of staff directly - including over 70 apprentices - and a further 1,000 subcontractors in the supply chain. Developments that the group is currently working on include the 66-home first residential development at the £35m Waverley Square development, located within the heart of Edinburgh’s historic old town. It is also developing 224 units on the former St Stephen’s School campus in Port Glasgow for River Clyde Homes in a project worth £33m.

To further meet growing housing demand, the Cruden Group has expanded into new areas of development. This involves higher-density developments of flats across all tenures, including delivery of build-to-rent housing for the private sector. It will soon will be launching its first retirement development under a newly established brand, Juniper Residential. 

Reid added: “As a group, we have the ability to secure land, fund developments and deliver large construction projects, which sets us apart from many of our competitors. By future-proofing the business through investing in new markets, we have already secured a robust forward order book up to March 2021 and a growing pipeline beyond that. We expect to be able to sustain turnover at this enhanced level in the period to March 2021 and we look forward with confidence to the years ahead.”

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