Scotland business

Building firm Miller Group returns to profit

Miller construction workers on site
Image caption Miller has housing, construction, property and mining divisions

One of Scotland's biggest building firms has said it returned to profit last year.

Edinburgh-based Miller Group announced a pre-tax profit of £6.6m for 2012 after recording a £30.4m loss the previous year.

Group profit before interest was £29.2m, some 40% ahead of the £20.8m it recorded in 2011.

Revenue rose by £32.3m to £619.9m, and the firm reported a "strong" balance sheet, with net assets of £236.5m.

Miller has four divisions - housing, construction, property and mining - all of which recorded profits last year.

Its total housing sales increased by 5% to 1,831 units, with the average selling price rising from £161,000 to £170,000.

Miller's construction arm had a record order book of £1.5bn, and its property business was said to have made good progress in developing its asset holdings in Scotland, the north west of England and Birmingham, with a number of significant lettings and forward sales.

Coal reserves

Finally, Miller's joint mining venture has now extracted 33% of coal from Ffos-y-fran in South Wales. It has 7.3 million tonnes of coal reserves still to extract.

Chief executive Keith Miller told BBC Scotland the results were "very good" but not "spectacular".

He added: "It's been a good year - we've moved forward very positively across all four of our businesses and we've got a very good platform on which to build going forward."

Mr Miller said it had been a "tough environment" for the past four or five years, but the company had set out a strategy to deal with it and was now seeing the fruits coming through.

Miller Group completed a major refinance in February in 2012 that attracted £160m in new equity.

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