One of the UK’s fastest-growing housing developers has announced a turnover increase of more than 35% in its annual results.
Westleigh Partnerships, which specialises in building affordable homes for housing associations and local authorities, as well as high quality new homes for the local market, turned over £128.6m in the year to March 31 2017, up from £95.1m the previous year.
Profit before tax jumped by more than 75%, up to £10.9m from £6.1m. The firm also announced a sizeable increase in its land reserves, with work in progress up by more than half on the 2016 results.
The rapid growth came in the year that Westleigh received a £21m investment from Palatine Private Equity for a significant minority stake. The firm has also opened up new offices in the West Midlands and Yorkshire over the past financial year and is actively looking to expand existing operations outside of its East Midlands base.
Westleigh’s permanent workforce grew to over 400 creating 89 new jobs in the process.
Several non-financial targets outlined in the end-of-year report’s KPIs were also hit, including retaining Investors in People Gold Status for the seventh successive year and the extension of the company’s apprenticeship scheme now employing 51 apprentices.
The firm also won two awards at the Considerate Constructors Scheme Awards earlier in 2017 and has renewed its commitment to championing the scheme, which aims to change public perceptions of the construction industry by encouraging inclusion and diversity, good site practice and community engagement.
Ian Jones, Managing Director at Westleigh, said: “It’s been another fantastic year for us, a year in which we have been able to capitalise on the fresh investment we received to give the business a real impetus, with a view to further expansion in the years ahead.
“We have developed a niche for identifying sites suitable for affordable development and delivering projects in conjunction with registered providers of affordable housing. Demand for that service has been steadily growing and will only continue to do so.
“There is a consensus across the political spectrum that the Midlands and Yorkshire, among other regions, are in urgent need of more affordable housing. We are in a strong position, with our business model and expertise, to help with the resolution of that shortfall.
“We also have a successful and growing division building new homes for private sale, which forms an important part of our strategy going forward.”
Richard Thomas, Palatine’s Midlands Investment Director, said: “Westleigh has had an excellent year, as to achieve a rise in profits of over 30% in a year is obviously a superb achievement.
“The business is now operating across the wider Midlands and has seen excellent growth in South Yorkshire, all contributing to a strong build programme over the coming years.
“Outside of the financials, Westleigh has continued to build on its employee engagement, apprenticeship scheme and social responsibility, all of which are very important to Palatine and are demonstrated by the awards Westleigh has won.
“We continue to support the business with its growth plans and look forward to what should be another successful year”.
Westleigh builds new homes across the East and West Midlands, Cambridgeshire and Yorkshire, including homes for sale and properties for affordable rent on behalf of housing associations and local councils. It manufactures its own eco-friendly timber frames for the construction industry at its Westframe factory in Leicestershire.