Major Scottish housebuilder Miller Homes has shrugged off weak consumer confidence to deliver an increase in unit completions and turnover.
Newly filed accounts show the Edinburgh-based firm saw turnover increase by 11%, from £732.4 million in 2018 to £816m for the year ending December 31 2019.
Pre-tax profits also rose, from £129.6m in 2018 to £154.5m last year.
Commenting in the annual report, chief executive, Chris Endsor said: “2019 was a highly eventful year with Brexit deadlines being set and missed and an unplanned general election, all of which were very much at the forefront of our customers’ minds.
“The housing sector is one which traditionally benefits from consumer confidence and a positive macro-economic background, both of which were in short supply in 2019.
“There continued to be sufficient land opportunities in our target markets during the year which met our financial criteria, and investment in new land increased to £227m from £201m in 2018.
“Importantly, land investment continued to be undertaken in a disciplined way without compromising margins or capital returns.
“This resulted in the consented land bank increasing to 13,557 plots from 12,302 plots last year, with all owned land with detailed planning permission being developed.”
Over the trading period, the average monthly headcount at the firm rose from 910 in 2018 to 1,009 last year, with 435 production staff, 136 in sales roles and 438 in administrative positions.
The bill for wages and associated costs came to £64.5m.
Restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic saw the firm close its construction sites, sales centres and offices in March.
Construction activities resumed on sites in England on a phased basis in May, while Scottish sites reopened in June.
Addressing the outlook for the firm, Mr Endsor said: “We have left behind an eventful but nonetheless highly successful 2019 and entered the new year with a record order book and a strong balance sheet which has allowed us to withstand the unprecedented events arising from the Covid-19 outbreak.
“We are still monitoring the ongoing uncertainty with regards to the UK’s exit from the European Union.
“We have a clear strategic focus on mainstream regional housing markets and a management team intent on investing in our people.”
The completion of private units rose by 7% to 2,520, while affordable unit completions increased to 662, against 532 units the previous year.
The firm has a number of sites across Tayside and Fife, including a 54-unit development at Liff, and a substantial site at Dunfermline which includes 60 affordable properties.
The firm was founded in 1934 as part of the Miller Group.
One of the founders, James Miller, an architect and engineer, also served as Lord Provost of Edinburgh and Lord Mayor of London.
The firm has constructed around 100,000 properties overall.
The company’s immediate parent company is Miller Homes Holdings and its ultimate parent company is Miller Homes Group.