Profits soar to £18m at property pioneer Urban Splash

Urban Splash
X The Business Desk

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Property and regeneration company Urban Splash more than doubled its profits to £18m in the last 12 months.

The Manchester firm which specialises in challenging and ground-breaking schemes saw a £14.7m increase in the value of the company’s commercial property assets over the last 12 months. Turnover for the year was £36.3 million.

Tom Bloxham, chairman and founder of the firm, said: “These results are a true reflection of an excellent year for our business and gave us the perfect platform from which to take Urban Splash to the next level by expanding our modular operations.”

The results predate and do not include any benefit from the recently announced £90m partnership with Homes England, and Japan’s biggest housebuilder Sekisui House, which will allow the company to upscale its modular production.

During the period Urban Splash did however lay the foundations for its modular growth, acquiring its House factory from SIG PLC in March 2018 and vertically integrating modular operations into its core business.

Tom Bloxham added: “Last year was a period of hard work, ambitious and fast acquisitions – including the vertical integration of our own modular housing facility – and of course much celebration as we marked our silver anniversary.

“Our activity in 2018 laid the foundations for the next period of growth for House, allowing us to vertically integrate all aspects of the delivery of our modular housing and take full control.”

Progress on its modular housing during the accounts period included the commencement of works and the launch of 40 modular Houses at Port Loop in Birmingham with Places for People; the pair were also appointed as preferred JV on the Campbell Park development in Milton Keynes where more modular homes will be delivered.

Cash reserves of £14.6m were recorded in the results, helping Urban Splash continue investing in its portfolio; works were carried out to buildings the company owns in joint venture with its partner Pears – developments such as the Tea Factory and Vanilla Factory in Liverpool.

Urban Splash also solely invested in the expansion of its standalone portfolio, making swift, cash acquisitions – including Crabtree Lane Industrial Estate in Openshaw, East Manchester.

Since the year-end, Urban Splash has continued its success; commercially, the company has continued investment in its portfolio, investing £2m in Beehive Mill in Manchester and £1.8m with partner Pears at the Boat Shed in Salford Quays.

Both developments are almost fully let – even ahead of the completion of the works.

Meanwhile, a new joint venture relationship with Peel was announced in January 2019 and will see the partners deliver a new residential quarter comprising 347 homes at Wirral Waters in Merseyside.

Tom Bloxham

Most recently in May 2019, Urban Splash was appointed by Homes England to deliver 400 homes at the Northstowe new town in Cambridgeshire.

The result is a total forward pipeline of more than 3,000 homes for Urban Splash, including the recently launched Mansion House apartments at New Islington in Manchester, as well as Town House at Port Loop in Birmingham.

Tom Bloxham said: “I know that people will still be working in well-designed office spaces, that there will be a demand for beautiful loft apartments and that the UK still doesn’t build enough homes to house its growing population and so the future for Urban Splash remains as exciting as ever.

“My thanks go to all our supporters, funders, partners and suppliers and above all my very talented colleagues. Early on in life I realised the only way I would become successful was by surrounding myself with people more clever and better than me, I am very privileged and grateful to work with all sorts of wonderful people who share our ambition of trying to leave our cities a little bit better, greater and more beautiful than we found them.”

Urban Splash was founded in 1993 by Chairman Tom Bloxham MBE and creative director Jonathan Falkingham