A&J Stephen warns of future loss despite successful year



Perth-based housebuilder A&J Stephen has warned it expects to lose money in the current financial year due to delays in development sites coming forward.

The family firm, which currently has developments in Perth, Glenfarg, Inverness and the outskirts of Aberdeen, trebled its profits last year.

In the year ending March 2018, the firm sold 73 new homes, an increase of 10 from 2017.

Turnover for A&J Stephen (Holdings) Limited increased by 8.5% to £19 million in the financial year with pre-tax profits rising from £210,000 to £656,000.

Company secretary John Webster welcomed the results but said the firm anticipated to sell around 50 new homes in the current financial year which would lead to a loss.

He said: “The housing market was reasonably buoyant for much of the year but house price inflation remained rather flat and a proportion of these cost increases had to be absorbed by the business.

“The group continues to operate from a position of financial strength with total equity in excess of £25.5m. The group generated £1.4m of cash during the year and at the year-end had no borrowings and cash resources in excess of £5m.”

The firm has invested heavily in its timber fabrication factory. The Swedish technology which allows the prefabrication of timber panels with windows and doors.

Mr Webster added: “It is widely accepted the construction industry is facing a skills shortage and there will be a greater emphasis on offsite manufacturing in the future.

“This investment will help reduce our dependence on traditional trades, reduce construction times on site and improve margins.”

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