Scotland business

Housebuilder Cala posts record profits

Cala Homes Image copyright Cala Group
Image caption Cala said the average selling price of a new home was 6% up at £538,000

Upmarket housebuilder Cala Group has posted record profits for the fourth year in a row, despite reporting "headwinds" in some markets.

Cala, which is run from Edinburgh and Buckinghamshire, said pre-tax profits before exceptional items rose by 18% to just over £60m.

Group revenue also climbed by 15% to £587.1m.

Cala, which was founded in Aberdeen in 1875, has expanded in recent years, particularly in southern England.

Last year, it completed more than 1,150 homes, an increase of 16% on the previous year.

The average selling price was 6% up at £538,000.

The company said its gross margins had been affected by "challenging market conditions" in Aberdeen, where prices continued to fall as a result of the declining oil price.

It also reported a slowdown in demand for homes priced above £1.25m, following changes to the Stamp Duty Land Tax south of the border.

'Strong momentum'

Chief executive Alan Brown said: "Despite headwinds in some of our markets, we have continued to build on the strong momentum we have generated over recent years, once again delivering robust volume and revenue growth while still achieving incremental improvements in our return on capital employed."

He added: "In the 13 weeks since the EU referendum result, and although still early days, the group saw positive trading with total enquiry levels and reservation rates up 9% and 46% respectively while website users have also risen by 32% on the equivalent period last year.

"Sales prices have also remained stable while cancellation rates have actually reduced slightly.

"Overall, we remain on course to deliver an annual capacity of 2,000 to 2,500 units within the next four years through delivering premium quality, well designed homes and communities in prime locations across the UK."

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