Strong performance for versatile United House

United House Group, the leading specialist residential developer and social housing contractor, has delivered a strong performance for the year ending 31 December 2012 with Group profit before tax of £21.4million, up by £6.6million on last year, its annual results reveal today.

This excellent result is a combination of a strong year at United House Developments, the successful realisation of profit on the sale of its housing PFI assets created over a number of years, offset by a weaker performance by its construction division.

Underlying EBITDA was down year on year but still very strong at £8.3m (2011: £16.1million). Group turnover of £197million (2011: £239million) was lower, primarily as a result of the timing of completions of key developments schemes. Within the construction division, margins were squeezed, in common with the rest of the industry.

In response to the challenges faced by the sector, a new managing director and two senior directors were appointed as part of a restructuring of its construction division.

At the year end, the Group held a cash balance of £15.4million. Currently the Group has no corporate bank borrowings and the cash position remains strong. The order book for the construction business had risen to £380million and the opportunity pipeline stood at a record £2.9billion.

Jeffrey Adams, Group Chief Executive, United House, said:

“We continue to develop our reputation for handling complex schemes and delivering social housing and community facilities at zero cost to local authorities. A recent example of this is our Clapham One project in which we created 155 new apartments for private sale on land provided to the Group by the local authority. This, in turn, financed the provision of a new health centre, a new leisure centre, a public library and social housing.”

A number of major new private residential schemes are underway that will deliver revenue in 2014 and 2015. These include City North, which with over 350 private and affordable apartments and 115,000 square feet of retail and office space, will transform the heart of Finsbury Park, and a £100million programme to undertake the exciting regeneration of the Chrisp Street Market area in Poplar, in London’s East End. The company’s refurbishment business is re-establishing itself as a major revenue stream for the Group having recently won several major planned maintenance contracts exceeding £250million with clients including Circle, London & Quadrant, Harlow Council and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

Jeffrey Adams added:

“In our development business, demand for London residential property has remained strong and we continue to work with our partners to deliver new schemes and bold new projects, such as Paynes & Borthwick Wharves, which is due for completion by late 2013 and will provide over 250 new residential waterside apartments.”