Saturday 20 January 2018

Cairn Homes to commence five developments over next year

Firm expects to support over 1,000 building jobs by mid-2017
Firm expects to support over 1,000 building jobs by mid-2017
Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Irish housebuilder Cairn Homes is to start developing a further 12 sites over the next year as the company looks to increase its output.

The firm, which snapped up Ulster Bank's Project Clear portfolio alongside Lone Star in December, has 27 separate sites as part of its main portfolio.

Cairn chief executive Michael Stanley said the company had completed its acquisition phase and is looking to up its housebuilding operations.

"We have assembled a talented and experienced team to drive forward with our plans. We are currently building new homes on five sites, with a further five developments commencing within the next 12 months.

"By mid-2017, we will support over 1,000 construction jobs, including apprentices, leveraging the substantial economies that we will benefit from as a homebuilder of significant scale," Mr Stanley said in a statement.

Mr Stanley was speaking as Cairn posted its interim results for the first half of 2016.

Revenue increased to €16m during the period with the firm posting a gross profit of €2.6m.

Cairn swung to a pre-tax profit in the first half of the year of €511,000, up from the €1.05m loss it posted last year. The firm also reported strong progress on the Ulster Bank Project Clear portfolio.

Cairn said it had realised €32m in proceeds from settlements and asset sales with nine sites (€126.1m) transferred into direct ownership.

The homebuilder will look to develop a further 11,500 units on its main landbank portfolio, 90pc of which is located in Dublin and the Dublin commuter belt.

During the first half of the year Cairn moved for sites in Hanover Quay in Dublin's docklands, Cherrywood in south Dublin, and Maynooth, Co Kildare.

During the year it also acquired Argentum Property for €105.6m.

The firm gave a positive update on its sales during the start of the year with 112 houses now sale agreed and another 39 completed during the six months.

Goodbody analyst Eamonn Hughes was upbeat on the company's results, tipping the firm to benefit based on the number of mortgages now approved.

Cairn's strong balance sheet and unrivalled site ownership (around 20pc of undeveloped land in Dublin) position it ideally to benefit from recently improving mortgage approval data and the governments' recently announced Action Plan for Housing," Mr Hughes said.

Irish Independent

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