Strong earnings growth for Wain Group

HOUSEBUILDER Wain Group reported a sharp rise in sales and earnings last year.

In the year to June 30, the Warrington company saw turnover increase by 15% to £94.3m and pre-tax profits jump 37% to £14.1m, according to newly-filed accounts.

The group carried forward an order book £24m higher than the previous year.

The gross development value of land, with planning consent, stood at £349m at the end of June, the equivalent to just under four years of turnover.

Last year Wain agreed a £30m finance facility with HSBC which lasts until 2015. It has shareholder loans, repayable in 2018, of £19.5m, and bank debt of £16.1m.

Wain Group operates two housebuilding divisions covering the South West and the North West of England. The company was formed from the remnants of Bill Ainscough’s Wainhomes empire, which was sold to Taylor Wimpey in a £135m deal in 2002.

Mr Ainscough’s other property interests are commercial property business Langtree and property investment company Himor.

In his chairman’s report Mr Ainscough said: “Reservations have remained strong in the period since the year end. Our order book, including legal completions since June 30, stands at £52.9m. In addition to this, the forward order book on contracts with housing associations is £2.7m.”

He added: “Once again the group has had a successful year’s trading. The policy of selective land purchases and promoting sites throguh the planning system has led to further improvements in gross margins. The group operates with sensible levels of bank debt.”

The company employed 160 people during the year, up from 143.