Miller Group returns to profit as housing revenue edges up

PROPERTY firm Miller Group returned to profit in the first half of the year, with group revenue up seven per cent.

The privately-owned group, with operations in the housing, construction, development and mining sectors, said pre-tax profit increased to £0.4m to 30 June, up from a loss of £52.9m over the same period last year.

Housing did particularly well over the period, with revenues up £124.8m from £124.3m and a rise in operating profit to £4.4m from a £35.2m loss last year.

Miller is accelerating capital expenditure over the second half of the year, with a further £55m on new land planned in the second half, following a £10m investment in the first half.

The construction division suffered slightly over the period, with revenue falling to £113.1m from £115.6m last year. It reported an operating loss of £0.8m.

The group said that increased investment over the second half of the year would ensure it met its full-year targets.

Keith Miller, chief executive of the group, said yesterday that he was optimistic about the UK housing market, despite a reasonably quiet summer with events such as the Olympics and the Jubilee distracting customers.

He added that it was on track to perform well throughout the year despite the various challenges, helped by its broad-based business operating in a number of sectors including science and technology.