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Countryside delivers double-digit profit growth as expansion continues

The housebuilder recently said it was acquiring regional developer Westleigh.

New homes

Housebuilder Countryside delivered double-digit growth in profits in the first half of the year as it continued to build its factory base and acquired a rival developer.

The property group, which floated on the stock exchange two years ago, reported a 15% rise in completions, up from 1,437 homes to 1,655.

Adjusted revenues rose 7% for the six months ending March 31, up from £435 million to £468 million. Adjusted operating profit jumped 14% to £80.6 million.

However, the value of the group’s forward order book fell from £347.1 million to £327.6 million, a drop of 6%.

In its housebuilding division, the company has a land bank of 19,741 plots, which includes sites for which it is the preferred bidder.

Countryside bought rival housebuilder Westleigh in April for £135.4 million, and said on Thursday that the acquisition would pave the way for further growth in its partnerships division, which focuses on urban regeneration of public sector land.

The acquisition of Westleigh included a timber frame factory in Leicester. Countryside said it will be investing further in the site, and has plans to open another timber frame factory. It has signed a lease for a 130,000 sq ft site in Warrington.

Equipment is due to be delivered to the site in the second half of Countryside’s financial year, and when the factory is operational, it will help deliver around 1,500 units per year across the West Midlands and northern regions.

Chief executive Ian Sutcliffe said: “We enter the second half in great shape and our acquisition of Westleigh will further increase our momentum by expanding our geographic reach and mixed tenure delivery.

“With continued strong growth in partnerships and improved efficiency and returns in the housebuilding division we remain confident of maintaining our sector-leading growth over the medium term.”