Muir Group hails ‘robust response’ to challenging year

John Muir

MUIR Group has hailed the firm’s ‘robust’ response to the pandemic-related challenges of the past year after reporting a £1 million profit against a turnover of £63 million. This compares with a turnover of £88 million and £4.2 million profit the previous year.

The Fife-based housebuilder, property developer and contractor revealed the figures as it announced its financial results for the year ended January 2021, which confirmed a ninth consecutive year of profitable trading.

Despite the three-month lockdown period, Muir Construction increased its turnover by over £2.9 million to just under £39 million, while five of Muir Group’s divisions returned a profit and Muir Timber Systems moved from a loss into profit.

Housing revenues for Muir Homes reached £26.5 million despite the pandemic affecting the ability to complete and handover new homes. The number of completed homes fell by 68 to 134 in the year but the division was still able to report a profit of £586,000. The business aims to create 155 houses this year, with Muir currently active on seven sites across the country.

Muir Timber Systems returned a profit of £40,000 despite a decreased turnover of £4.4 million from £7.4 million. The turnover figures are said to reflect the halting of production during the lockdown period and reduced staff numbers due to furlough. The prospects for increased activity in the current year, however, are said to look ‘promising’.

Property development within subsidiary company Hermiston and Muir Aberdeen increased to £4.5 million revenues. Muir Group revealed the results show a net loss as completion and sale of major developments will complete in future financial years.

Muir Group said it is ‘upbeat’ about the forthcoming year with ‘significant’ growth planned across its divisions including an expansion of operations in Scotland’s central belt as the company looks for further land opportunities.

John Muir, chairman of Muir Group, said, “These results are a robust response to a challenging and unprecedented year for the construction sector. The pandemic had a significant impact on revenues and operations. However, Muir Group reported another profitable year – that is an achievement I am very proud of.

“Turnover was down from a year ago, but the shutdown of construction for nearly three months affected the handover of private houses and completion of projects. Overall group profits of £1 million is a credible performance in such difficult conditions.

“The UK Government furlough scheme was a major lifeline, protecting jobs. It also meant we had 200 staff out of the business for a significant period. This year was demanding and the staff across all the businesses stepped up to the challenge. They have worked hard, and the management team has played its part in creating a safe and effective workplace.

“Looking forward, on the trading front we have made a positive start to the year with a significant pipeline of activity planned and a strong balance sheet. Overall, the group is in good shape, continues to win major construction contracts, has a good land bank, has strength in identifying development sites in the right locations for the right markets, which will significantly enhance future results. We are focused on further growth in the central belt and are keen to identify sites for commercial and residential development there.”