Places for People Group has published its annual report for the year 2018-2019, revealing a strong and improved performance across its business, the establishment of multiple new partnerships and an increasing focus on delivering more affordable housing.
The placemaking group recorded an operating profit of £227.1m, an increase from £189.2m in the year prior. Underlying profit before tax and negative goodwill increased by 12.7% to £95.5m (2018: £85m).
Group turnover for the year increased from £754.4m to £827.1m; the 9.6% lift predominantly comes as a result of a full year of trading of both Chorus Homes (formerly Luminus Homes) and Millwood Designer Homes, businesses which joined the Group in the prior financial year.
The Group also ended the year with a strong balance sheet and liquidity position with £562.4m of reserves – an increase from £489m in 2018, and available cash and undrawn facilities of £897.1m.
The number of homes built or acquired during the year was 1,876 with 851 of them affordable; in addition, 2,647 new homes started on site during the year, with a further 25,000 being planned beyond that.
Collaboration and partnerships were key themes in the Places for People strategy during the year, demonstrating its strategic commitment to deliver more, quality homes. The Group was named as one of the first of eight strategic partners working with Homes England to deliver more affordable homes across the country. This saw the Group allocated £74m of social housing grant over the next three years to deliver 2,600 additional affordable homes.
The Group also partnered with the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) to invest £333m into private rental sector homes which will be managed through the Group’s fund management business PfP Capital.
Reflecting on the strong period for the company, Group Chief Executive David Cowans said: “We are delighted to have completed another successful year across our Group; it has been an exciting period in which we have continued to develop strategic partnerships and build neighbourhoods where communities can thrive.”
Places for People Group comprises more than 20 complementary businesses across a number of property sectors, in all areas of the UK. The Group manages more than 197,000 homes of all tenures, operates 127 leisure facilities and works in 390 local authority areas delivering a wide range of services.
Another key area for the Group in 2018-19 was its commitment to large-scale placemaking, drawing on its group expertise to build and manage significant communities. Group businesses make this achievable from a development’s conception, to construction to the management of all tenures of property upon completion.
The Group’s regulated businesses generated £79m of social value. It supported over 2,700 people into employment, training or volunteering and helped 5,300 people who were homeless or at risk of being homeless.
Andy Winstanley, Places for People’s Group Executive Director - Finance, added: “Our strong financial performance allows us to continue with our overall growth strategy, which in turn supports increased investment in our communities and the delivery of even greater social impact initiatives.”
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