Cruden reports ‘robust’ financial results despite challenging conditions

THE Cruden Group has reported a ‘robust’ set of financial results, including a 21st consecutive year of profitable trading.

Turnover for the year to 31 March 2020 was £227.5 million, up 19% from £191.7 million in the previous 12 months. Pre-tax profit was £6.6 million in comparison to £5.4 million in 2019.

The group, which has delivered an average of 1,200 new homes annually in recent years, revealed it has been expanding its activities – working with clients across both the public and private sectors and increasing its investment in new housing for sale, both in its own name, and with joint venture partners.

Turnover comprised of construction for external clients of £180 million, representing approximately 1,100 units completed during the year, and the sale of private housing of £48 million, representing 241 private homes sold, including joint ventures.

Cruden said that in the year ahead, the focus will be on investing in the delivery of new housing for sale and sustaining this level of construction activity.

The impact of Covid-19 and subsequent site closures during the lockdown period affected the long-term contract profit margins reported in the group’s financial accounts, and will also impact the current year’s financial performance. However, Cruden revealed it is confident of delivering another year of profit and, through effective cash management, is well placed to continue to invest in its core operations.

The business aims to complete around 1,500 new homes this year. Cruden is currently active on over 50 sites and has approximately 600 direct members of staff, including 72 apprentices and a further 1,000 operatives on Cruden sites employed by sub-contractors in the supply chain.

Kevin Reid, chief executive of the Cruden Group, said, “It’s a significant achievement to report our twenty-first continuous year of profitable trading, particularly against the challenging and unprecedented backdrop that the pandemic presented. I am particularly proud of the responsible approach adopted by all of our employees both during lockdown and on our return to sites.

“Their hard work in creating an environment which allows for a safe and effective workplace has been admirable. The wellbeing of staff, our subcontractors and suppliers, our customers and the communities that we are building in continues to be our key focus.

“In that context, I’m also delighted to report that The Cruden Foundation has now donated in excess of £7 million in total to charitable organisations across Scotland. Our staff should be proud of this achievement made possible only by their continuing hard work.

“On the trading front, we have made a robust start to the year ahead with an extremely healthy forward order book. The chronic shortage of housing throughout the country remains an issue and as a result, we hope to further increase the number of homes that we will build this year to help address this shortfall.

“We will be placing more emphasis on mixed and sustainable housing communities, including combinations of affordable, build to rent and private sale housing, along with multi-purpose commercial and retail space. Building multi-tenure sustainable communities is at the heart of the Cruden offering and we will continue to play a crucial role in delivering Scotland’s much needed homes for the future.”