PROPERTY giant Grainger will use a dramatic swing back to black as a springboard to grow its residential portfolio.
The firm turned a yawning £143m loss last year into a slender £3.5m profit.
It reported operating profits of £48.0m, a 16 per cent hike from the £41.3m reported in 2009. Its residential sales shot up from £55m last year to £79m, with more in the pipeline.
The group credited “improved market stability and strengthening of its financial position” for the robust results and announced it will resume its acquisition programme. It will focus on “quality” developments with strong capital growth and protection against a further downturn.
The firm is understood to be eyeing two major housing portfolios, one with a value of around £60m.
The firm is also in the process of snapping up Sovereign Reversions for £34.2m.
Grainger chairman Robin Broadhurst said: “Prospects for the group are good. Although we anticipate that general economic conditions will continue to be challenging for some time, our resilient, cash generative portfolio will stand us in good stead.
“Our immediate focus is to take advantage of buying opportunities in our core reversionary portfolios and to leverage our residential skills and experience to explore value accretive and well-priced opportunities on behalf of our shareholders, investors and partners. “
The firm appointed new chief executive Andrew Cunningham in October 2009. In April it announced the appointments to the board of Nick Jopling, Mark Greenwood and Peter Couch.