Fife-based construction giant Muir Group saw its profits fall last year despite rising house sales across Scotland
The Inverkeithing group, which includes Muir Construction and Muir Homes, recorded sales of £65.1 million for the year ending February 3 2019, a dip from £65.4m in 2018.
The firm recorded a pre-tax profit of £2.5m last year against £3.2m in 2018.
The number of private housing sales increased from 152 units in 2018, to 157 in 2019, while the average value per unit increased from £194,000 in 2018 to £206,000, generating £32.3m for the firm.
Muir Group, which employed an average of 267 staff last year, has housing developments in Leven, Anstruther and Dalgety Bay in Fife as well as Auchterarder and Stanley in Perthshire.
Property development turnover increased last year to £3.1m from £1.8m in 2018. However, there was a drop in contracting turnover from £30m to £24m.
In his report in the company accounts, finance director John Watt said: “The reduction in turnover was principally down to lower construction opportunities with a higher level of house building and development activity.”
Muir Group outlines its strategy and future developments into three divisions.
The first arm is private housing, where it plans to add to company’s existing land bank. The second focus is contracting, with proposals to increase the volume of contracts with partner clients and sub-contractors.
The firm is also looking to expand its property development where again the strategy is to increase the land bank to create a steadier flow of development across commercial sectors.
Mr Watt added: “The overriding objective is to deliver sustained growth in shareholder value through organic growth in all the business areas.”
The underlying results were affected by a provision for a £1.6m bad debt in Muir Construction.
However, the group has received assurances that £1.1m of the debt will be paid when the debtor completes a refinancing programme, with the remaining £500,000 converted to an equity investment.
The firm’s level of net assets increased by £1.7m to £85.5m at the year end.