Miller Homes

Miller Homes launches micro business fund as new Edinburgh development gets underway

The Bonnington development will house one, two and three bedroom apartments

The Bonnington development will house one, two and three bedroom apartments

Miller Homes has announced the launch of a new £150,000 fund to help local business start-ups within the Leith and Bonnington area.

Created by the City of Edinburgh Council using funds donated by the housebuilder, the core purpose of the Bonnington Micro Business Fund (BMBF) is to provide support to businesses to locate and or grow within the area.

Miller Homes will soon launch a development in Bonnington which the firm said is home to a thriving and ever-growing business community.

Arthur Mann, strategic land director for Scotland at Miller Homes, said: “The business community in Leith and Bonnington is really exciting, and Miller Homes is proud to support these independent businesses and help them grow.

“Our Bonnington development is due to launch early in the New Year and we are thrilled to be able to support the community and provide a number of businesses with a springboard to thrive in the area.”

Councillor Gavin Barrie added: “City of Edinburgh Council is delighted to work with Miller Homes on the distribution of these funds and would like to extend a thank you to the housebuilder for its generous contribution. A number of local businesses will benefit from the Bonnington Micro Business Fund, allowing the local community to continue to flourish.”

Businesses, social enterprises and other not-for-profit businesses wishing to apply to the BMBF must be currently engaged in the sale of products and services. The grant is open to businesses trading in wards 12 (Leith Walk) and 13 (Leith) within the city of Edinburgh Council ward boundaries.

Grants are capped at £15,000 per applicant and applications will be approved by the City of Edinburgh Council.

John White appointed non-executive chairman of Miller Homes

John White

John White

Miller Homes has appointed industry veteran John White as its new non-executive chairman.

Taking up his new position from today, White is non-executive chairman of McCarthy & Stone, a position he held since September 2013.

Previously he spent circa 38 years at Persimmon plc, being appointed group chief executive from 1993-2006 and group chairman from 2006 to 2011.

White recently announced that he will step down from his position at Mccarthy & Stone at its annual shareholder meeting on January 24.

Miller Homes chief executive, Chris Endsor, said: “John has spent all his working life in the housing industry and has unrivalled experience within the sector. I very much look forward to working with him as Miller Homes enters a new exciting phase in its development and executing our strategic growth plans of delivering 4,000 homes per year by 2021.”

John White added: “I have admired the company’s performance over recent years and its very professional approach to the demands of the new housing market. I am therefore very excited to be joining Miller Homes and working with Chris and his team. I believe there is a great opportunity for the business to respond to the continuing shortage of new housing in the UK.”

Miller Homes was acquired by private equity firm Bridgepoint in August 2017 in a transaction totalling £655 million. In 2016, the company completed a total of 2,380 homes. For the year to 31 December 2016, the company reported a 13% increase in revenue to £565m and a 31% increase in operating profit to £103m.

Over 500 new homes on track at new Midlothian community

(from left) James Palmer, associate director, Shawfair LLP; Joanne Casey, homes director, Mactaggart & Mickel Homes; Fraser Conn, sales director, Bellway; Neil Gaffney, area sales & marketing director, Miller Homes

(from left) James Palmer, associate director, Shawfair LLP; Joanne Casey, homes director, Mactaggart & Mickel Homes; Fraser Conn, sales director, Bellway; Neil Gaffney, area sales & marketing director, Miller Homes

A trio of housebuilders have outlined plans to deliver more than 500 new homes at the Shawfair community in Midlothian.

Bellway and Miller Homes are to build 358 new homes for sale or affordable rent to complement a nearby development of 170 new homes by Mactaggart & Mickel Homes.

Bellway’s contribution of 236 three, four and five-bedroom homes wide range of semi-detached and detached house styles will be located west of Shawfair railway station. The first homes are being marketed now with move in dates from summer 2018.

Miller Homes, meanwhile, is to pre-launch its adjacent site on October 28 from the ESPC showroom in George Street, Edinburgh, providing a further 122 three, four and five-bedroom family homes from May 2018.

Mactaggart & Mickel Homes’ development launched in April this year, with properties ranging from one-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom detached villas and an additional 32 affordable homes. The first residents moved in this summer.

As well as the much-needed homes, Shawfair will have schools, offices and retail outlets plus acres of landscaped outdoor space and cycle paths.  In time, an attractive town centre will create a focal point for the whole community.

LM_New_Homes_Shawfair_Community_011 lo resJames Palmer, associate director of Shawfair LLP, said: “Over 500 new homes signals a major step forward in making our vision for Shawfair a reality. New housing is desperately needed and I am delighted that Shawfair has attracted housebuilders of the highest calibre to help us achieve that vision.

“Properties are already selling well, with lots of interest from people who are attracted by the benefits of country living.  Shawfair is just 15 minutes from Edinburgh by train, and offers fast transport connections further afield. This is hugely positive news for the area, creating scores of jobs across the three sites.”

When complete, Shawfair will be the fourth largest town in Midlothian, roughly the same size as Cupar, Dunblane or Linlithgow.

Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for housing, Councillor Stephen Curran, added: “It’s exciting to see the new town of Shawfair beginning to take shape.  That said, we realise it is a huge undertaking building a new town from scratch. It’s vital therefore, that surrounding communities are onboard every step of the way. We want to make sure local people feel listened to, that they understand what’s happening and how they can share in the benefits this new urban expansion will bring.

“This is an unprecedented development with a total value of £1.2 billion, able to support an estimated 6,500 jobs.

“The 20-year project, which includes 4,000 new homes – 20% or more of which must be affordable – represents the biggest urban expansion in Scotland in modern times. It will potentially pump almost £100m into the local economy each year once completed. That’s not just good news for Shawfair, that’s good news for the surrounding communities, Midlothian and Scotland as a whole.”

Miller Homes to be acquired by Bridgepoint in £655m deal

Miller Homes stockMiller Homes is to be acquired by private equity group Bridgepoint in a transaction totalling £655 million, the housebuilder confirmed today.

The firm, which is the largest privately-owned housebuilder in the UK operating from three regional divisions in the Midlands & South, North, and Scotland, had declined to comment on speculation over the proposed sale last month, but has now welcomed the move as it looks towards its “next phase of growth”.

Established in 1934, the company focuses on sustainable developments on the edge of urban or suburban areas.

Last year Miller built 2,380 homes while reporting a 13% increase in revenue to £565m and a 31% increase in operating profit to £103m.

The acquisition by Bridgepoint was aided by funds managed by GSO Capital Partners.

Miller Homes chief executive Chris Endsor said: “2016 was an outstanding year for Miller Homes delivering operating profit in excess of £100m for the first time and outperforming on all key financial metrics for the fifth consecutive year.  We fully expect 2017 to continue that upward trend.

“GSO have been a great supporter of our business and I look forward to welcoming Bridgepoint as our new shareholder as we undertake our next phase of growth, in an ongoing favourable macro-economic climate for UK housebuilding.”

Jamie Wyatt, partner at Bridgepoint, said: “The UK regional markets in which Miller operates are in good health with a positive sales environment and an attractive land buying market. Miller’s strategic position within those markets combined with its historic robust financial performance position it well to address future growth in the UK new build housing market where demand currently outstrips supply.”

Michael Whitman, senior managing director at GSO Capital Partners, added: “We are delighted with the significant growth Miller has achieved since GSO’s investment in 2012. We are proud of both the exceptional management team and all employees. We wish the company great success in the future with Bridgepoint.”

Miller Homes ‘in £600m takeover talks’

Miller Homes stockMiller Homes was at the centre of renewed speculation over the weekend regarding a proposed sale to a private equity group, though the housebuilder has so far declined to comment on the reports.

Sky News reported on Friday that the Edinburgh-based company was in discussions with Bridgepoint, which owns sandwich chain Pret A Manger.

According to Sky, the parties were closing in on a sale which valued the housebuilder at more than £600 million.

A deal between Bridgepoint and Miller’s shareholders could emerge during the summer, it added.

Speculation over a possible deal with Bridgepoint first emerged in April, although the price tag then had been put at more than £800m.

Last year Miller Homes saw pre-tax profit climb 44% to £89.3m, as revenue grew to £565m. The company completed 2,380 homes across the UK.

GSO Capital Partners, a division of private equity firm Blackstone, has a controlling stake in Miller.

Plans to float the business on the London Stock Exchange were shelved in 2014 due to “market volatility”. It had planned to raise about £140m by selling off at least 40% of the company.

Neither Miller or Bridgepoint have commented on the reports.

Record year as Miller Homes reports over 90% forward sales across Scotland

Miller Homes Scotland managing director Stewart Lynes

Miller Homes Scotland managing director Stewart Lynes

Edinburgh-based housebuilder Miller Homes is celebrating an” exceptional” start to the year having forward sold more than 90% of homes across its Scottish developments for 2017.

The record start to a year comes as Miller Homes prepares to start work on 11 new sites in Scotland between now and Q1 of 2018, resulting in over 1,600 new homes being brought to the market.

And it follows an ambition outlined by chief executive Chris Endsor in March to grow annual sales volumes in Scotland by at least a third to sell as many as 1,000 houses by 2020.

Last year Miller Homes saw pre-tax profit climb 44% to £89.3 million, as revenue grew to £565m. The company completed 2,380 homes across the UK.

Stewart Lynes, managing director of Miller Homes Scotland, said his team enter the second half of the year in buoyant mood.

He said: “The first half of 2017 has been exceptional in terms of forward sales and leaves us in excellent position for the rest of the year and into 2018.

“The market in Scotland has remained optimistic despite the uncertainty you would expect in a general election year not to mention post Brexit referendum. Sustained demand from purchasers, low interest rates and improved mortgage lending have meant customers have pushed aside any fears of uncertainty, continuing with their day to day lives.”

Neil Gaffney, sales and marketing director for Miller Homes Scotland, added: “We’ve been able to appeal to a huge segment of the market by having such a diverse range of quality homes, with 33 different home types ranging from one and two bedroom apartments to large five-bedroom detached family homes.

“Our land strategy has been carefully considered to identify the right areas to achieve sustainable growth, with Miller Homes at Shawfair Village in Midlothian and South Gilmerton Brae in Edinburgh being great examples of how to develop brand new destinations and communities.”

Miller Homes to focus on Central Belt with new sales target

Finance director Ian Murdoch (left) and chief executive Chris Endsor

Finance director Ian Murdoch (left) and chief executive Chris Endsor

Miller Homes is aiming to grow annual sales volumes in Scotland by at least one-third by 2020 with a focus on the Central Belt.

Reporting its latest annual results, the firm said the launch of a new operation in the ­Midlands would help it achieve its goal of 4,000 units a year by the end of the decade.

The ambitious growth plan was revealed as the ­Edinburgh-headquartered housebuilder announced a 44% jump in pre-tax profit to £89 million from a 13% rise in revenue to £565m.

The improvement, which saw the firm top the £100m operating profit mark for the first time, saw margins swell to 18%, one year earlier than planned.

Chief executive Chris ­Endsor played down the impact of last June’s Brexit vote saying the company “didn’t miss a beat” during the second half of 2016 with sales “substantially up” on a year earlier.

In 2016, Miller Homes completed a total of 2,380 homes, up 11% on the previous year, of which 348 were affordable homes. Scotland accounted for 612 completions; North of England, 953 completions; and Midlands & South England delivered 815 new homes.

Mr Endsor said the firm is aiming to sell 800 homes in Scotland in 2020 but he thinks that figure could easily rise to 1,000.

He added: “2016 was an outstanding year for Miller Homes delivering operating profit in excess of £100m for the first time. We outperformed on all key financial metrics for the fifth consecutive year which confirms the strength of our regional markets, our strong customer service and the successful execution of our strategic plan.

“2016 was dominated by speculation around the shape of Brexit both before and after the vote. This had no discernible impact on the business which continued to perform strongly in the second half of 2016, with sales rates 17% ahead of the prior year. Additionally, modest levels of house price inflation were delivered throughout the year.

“We are currently 55% forward sold for 2017, with continued confidence on the back of our strong presence and successful operating model in our regional housing markets. A substantial land investment programme is planned in 2017, alongside the launch of a new region in the Midlands. Our organic growth strategy will deliver a 68% increase in the capacity of the business to 4,000 homes per year with plans to deliver this by 2020.”

Deals agreed to bring over 350 homes to Edinburgh and Midlothian

Shawfair signDeals have been agreed to build hundreds of much-needed new homes in Midlothian and the south east of Edinburgh.

Shawfair LLP has confirmed that housebuilders Bellway Homes and Miller Homes, with the support of Midlothian Council, will deliver a mixture of up to 358 new homes for sale and affordable rent over the next five years at its Danderhall South site in Shawfair after completing missives.

With construction due to start on site in spring 2017 subject to detail planning approval, the news of major housebuilders investing in Shawfair marks a significant milestone in what is currently the largest urban expansion project in Midlothian and south east Edinburgh.

Nick Waugh, director of Shawfair LLP, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that two of the UK’s most high profile housebuilders have agreed to build quality new homes as part of the first phase of development at Shawfair LLP’s Danderhall South site.

“This announcement comes at a time of great need for a quality mix of housing in the area and represents a key moment in the lifespan of the project so far as we look to realise our vision of creating a community and desirable place to live at Shawfair in the future. This is positive news for the area and will help to unlock further investment and create jobs in the construction sector and supply chain.”

Bellway Homes will deliver 236 new homes directly to the north of Shawfair Park, including a mixture of two, three, four, and five bedroom housing for sale and affordable rent.

Miller Homes will build a further 122 new homes of two, three, four and five bedrooms for sale and affordable rent at the east of Danderhall.

Andy Wyles, managing director of Bellway Homes (Scotland) Ltd, said: “This is undoubtedly one of the most exciting new residential developments in Scotland and we are thrilled to be playing a part in the growth of this vibrant new community, as part of our ongoing expansion in the East of Scotland.

“There is so much to recommend Shawfair to homebuyers – not only is it close to the city centre with its world renowned attractions but it is also just a short drive from the beach at Portobello and beautiful country parks.”

David Morgan, land director for Miller Homes Scotland East, said: “We are delighted to be involved in creating the first phase of a thriving and vibrant new community at Shawfair, which will completely transform the south east side of the city. Miller Homes has an extensive track record in building attractive, sought after developments and we look forward to working with Shawfair LLP to help deliver this ambitious project through the provision of much needed new quality homes at Danderhall South.”

The development of the new community at Shawfair, through a joint venture between Buccleuch Property and Mactaggart and Mickel, will deliver 4,000 homes, new schools, business spaces and public amenities over the next 20 years.

Miller Homes retains Investors in People Gold Award

Chris Endsor

Chris Endsor

Housebuilder Miller Homes is celebrating after successfully retaining the Investors in People (IIP) Gold Award, affirming its position among the top 7 per cent of all IIP Accredited clients.

For over 14 years, Miller Homes has been recognised by Investors in People for demonstrating complete excellence in the way the business develops and supports its employees.

The company initially received the Gold Award in 2013 and in order to secure the accreditation, evidence was gathered and assessed via employee interviews carried out by an IIP specialist.

Investors in People is the UK’s leading people management standard and helps organisations to improve business performance through their people.

Peter Russian, chief executive of Investors in People Scotland, said: “I would like to congratulate Miller Homes on its commitment to continuous improvement. This represents a true commitment to employees and demonstrates a solid foundation of good practice which remains challenging and aspirational for many organisations.”

Chris Endsor, chief executive of Miller Homes, added: “I am extremely proud of the team for retaining our Investors in People Gold Award, which is a great achievement for our business.

“The assessment highlighted our commitment to The Miller Difference, valuing and rewarding employees as well as providing opportunities for training and development.  The assessor was also very impressed with our support for Habitat for Humanity, our nominated charity during 2016.

“I firmly believe that a good positive working environment not only benefits everyone who is connected with Miller Homes but also helps to create a positive experience for our customers.”

The IIP framework provides organisations throughout the UK with a structure which is used to assess and improve business performance through their employees. Formed in 1991, IIP has grown to be the UK’s leading people management business in the improvement of standards and delivering enhanced performance to thousands of organisations.

Over the last 80 years, Miller Homes, which is headquartered in Edinburgh, has established a reputation for building outstanding quality family homes and providing forward thinking customer service. The company is committed to building homes safely in a way which is considerate to the environment. The company currently has over 770 employees across the UK.

Miller Homes pledged to raise £100,000 for global development charity Habitat for Humanity GB in 2016. This target was exceeded with four months to go and the donations raised so far will allow for over 40 new ‘Habitat Homes’ to be built, helping to lift many people out of poverty housing.

In addition to fundraising throughout the year, in September 17 members of the Miller Homes team joined Habitat for Humanity on a Global Village Trip to Salima, Malawi where they built four houses as part of the Orphans and Vulnerable Children project, seeing the impact of their fundraising in action.

‘Buoyant’ market conditions help Miller Homes achieve 66 per cent profit jump

Miller Homes stockMiller Homes has announced it plans to continue its “substantial” land investment programme after the firm unveiled a 66 per cent rise in interim profits.

“Buoyant” market conditions helped the Edinburgh-based group towards a profit before tax of £38.2 million for the six months to the end of June, up from £23m a year earlier. Operating profit rose 36 per cent from £32.8m to £44.5m while investment in land almost doubled to £80m.

There was also an 11 per cent increase in revenues to £256.1m.

Chief executive Chris Endsor said there had been “no discernible impact” in the run up to the EU referendum on 23 June and highlighted a 20 per cent rise in the company’s sales rate during the second half of the year to date.

He said: “Miller Homes has again delivered significant growth, improving all key financial metrics in the first half of 2016.  The 12 per cent increase in our sales rate, together with the launch of new higher margin sites, has led to significant improvements in both operating profit and return on capital employed of 36 per cent and 38 per cent respectively.

“Market conditions were buoyant throughout the first half of the year with no discernible impact in the run up to the EU referendum. This has continued with our sales rate in the second half of the year being over 20 per cent ahead of the same period last year. It is too early to evaluate fully the implications of the EU referendum decision, although it is evident that regional housing market conditions and sentiment continue to be strong.

“There remains high underlying demand for quality family homes in our selected regional locations which are outside of London and the South East underpinned by supportive mortgage lenders in a low interest rate environment. Whilst we will remain vigilant for any negative signs arising from the EU referendum decision, we have no plans currently to alter our substantial land investment programme and are confident in our continued strong future performance.”

Meanwhile Miller Developments has sold its Edinburgh headquarters building Miller House to London-based real estate investor Aprirose in a £10mn deal.

Currently occupied by Miller Homes, Miller Developments, Galliford Try Construction and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the 48,408 sq ft Miller House is the third acquisition for Aprirose in Scotland in the past year.

The company purchased Wm Morrisons supermarket in St. Vincent Place, Lanark, and the Helix House office building in Aberdeen and owns a further seven properties across Scotland.