Partnerships housebuilder Countryside is to close its brand-new modular housing manufacturing facility at Bardon, Leicestershire as a part of a plan to scale back losses recognized earlier this yr in its manufacturing enterprise.
Simply two years in the past the agency was trumpeting plans to take a position £20m within the timber body manufacturing facility, designed to provide 3,500 houses per yr at peak capability, however after chief government Iain McPherson left initially of this yr within the wake of a shock revenue warning, Countryside’s modular housing enterprise was recognized as a serious supply of losses for the group.
Issuing a buying and selling replace to the Metropolis yesterday, wherein Countryside stated it was on the right track to hit decreased expectations for the yr, the agency stated the Board had taken the choice “to exit its web site in Bardon”, which is the most recent of three MMC factories owned by the group.
It stated the choice adopted a evaluation of the group’s manufacturing amenities, and in consequence, it stated “we anticipate a discount within the run-rate of producing losses”.
Constructing’s sister title Housing At present understands the agency will initially shut the power whereas it evaluations choices as as to whether it sells the positioning or not.
At Countryside’s half yr outcomes to March 31 this yr, the agency reported losses of £6.5m from its manufacturing companies, of which, it stated, roughly £3m was in relation to the brand new facility at Bardon.
Countryside is but to nominate a substitute for McPherson, who stepped down in January, with Mike Wooliscroft and Philip Chapman appointed joint interim CEOs whereas his successor is discovered. Earlier this month the enterprise additionally noticed the departure of its extremely revered chair, former Ferguson boss John Martin, who was changed on a everlasting foundation by former senior unbiased director, Douglas Harm.
His resolution got here after the enterprise was formally put up on the market, beneath strain from its shareholders, in June.
The manager adjustments comply with the agency’s resolution final yr to embark upon a partnerships housing-only mannequin, once more beneath strain from shareholders, with the enterprise exiting its longstanding personal sale housing enterprise.
The agency at the moment reported partnerships completions of 817 within the 13 weeks to June 30, down one dwelling from the identical interval final yr. Alter ed income was up 20% to £219m, with the group internet reservation charge up 30% to 1.04 houses per web site per week.
The agency stated 40% of its annual completions had been anticipated within the ultimate quarter of its monetary yr, with its ahead order e book up 60%, at £1.9bn.
The enterprise stated it expects to report £150m working revenue – excluding distinctive objects – at its full yr outcomes. Distinctive objects are prone to embody a £109m provision for fireplace security repairs on beforehand constructed houses made on the half-year outcomes.
Countryside’s replace stated that preparatory work on the sale of the enterprise was progressing properly “and additional bulletins concerning the timing and formal launch of the method might be made as acceptable”.