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Sat March 06 2021

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Springfield reports positive rebound following shutdown

23 Feb Scottish housebuilder Springfield Properties has reported revenue of £94.4m for the six months to the end of November, a rise of 18.3% on the previous year.

The gross margin for the first half of the 2020/2021 financial year was 19.6%, a slight drop from 19.9% in the same period of the 2019/2020 financial year.

The profit before tax was £9m for the six-month period to 30th November 2020, a rise of 42.9% on the same period in 2019. The figures in the current financial year were adjusted to include exclude exceptional expenses of £0.5m primarily relating to consolidation of Livingston operations into the existing Larbert office.

The company said that building and sales activity rebounded strongly following resumption of operations from late June, reflecting a longer shutdown of construction sites in Scotland due to Covid-19 restrictions. Sites have remained open with no significant impact from subsequent lockdowns.

Springfield Properties chief executive officer Innes Smith said: “This has been an excellent six months for Springfield. We safely and efficiently resumed construction to complete the homes that had been scheduled for handover at the end of the previous financial year. Our sales offices re-opened to significant interest, reflecting pent-up demand and the increasing desirability for the type of housing Springfield provides with spacious homes with private gardens and easy access to plenty of green space. As a result, we were able to deliver significant revenue growth and substantially reduce our net debt position, reflecting the operational gearing of the business. On behalf of the board, I would like thank our employees for their hard work and dedication during this time, which has enabled us to achieve these great results.

“Springfield has a large, high-quality land bank across almost all the key geographies in Scotland, which we continued to develop and received planning approval for over 450 homes. We strengthened our operations by implementing a number of efficiency and rationalisation measures that will reduce our cost base going forward. We are also pleased to have agreed, post period, with Sigma Capital that we will be progressing our first housing for the private rental sector at our Bertha Park Village.”

The realisation of work in progress enabled a substantial reduction in net debt to £33.2m at 30th November 2020 from £68.8m at 31th May 2020.

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The total completions increased to 443 homes, up slightly from the 438 completed in the same period the previous year.  There was also sustained progress on future schemes, with planning approval received for more than 450 homes during the period. The proportion of the land bank with planning permission increased to 53.8% from 49.7% on 31st May 2020.

Springfield now has a total land bank of 15,029 plots (31 May 2020: 15,882) with a gross development value £3.1bn (31 May 2020: £3.3bn).

Work took place to strengthen operations with the implementation of efficiency and rationalisation measures set to reduce costs by approximately £1m a year.

In terms of private housing delivery, revenue was £74.3m (H1 2019/20: £57.1m) with 311 completions (H1 2019/20: 258). The significant growth primarily reflected completion of homes originally scheduled to be delivered at the end of 2019/20, but postponed due to the temporary cessation of build activity during the first Covid-19 lockdown.

For affordable housing delivery, revenue was £19.5m (H1 2019/20: £22.2m) with 132 completions (H1 2019/20: 180). This reflecting there being only limited activity in June 2020 compared with a full six-month period of operations for the comparative period.

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