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Essex housebuilder reports soaring profits

PUBLISHED: 09:05 19 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:51 19 November 2018

Bob Weston, chief executive of Weston Group. Picture: Weston Group

Bob Weston, chief executive of Weston Group. Picture: Weston Group

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One of Essex’s largest companies is forecast to double in size over the next five years.

One of Essex’s largest companies is forecast to double in size over the next five years.

In a sign of the soaring demand for new homes, Weston Group has just posted pre-tax profits up 54.5% year-on-year.

The housebuilder, serviced offices and logistics group, which is headquartered in Stansted in Essex, announced pre-tax profits of £35.2m, due to strong sales for starter and family homes and good occupancy figures for the serviced offices division.

Reporting on its 2017-2018 financial results, Weston Group also highlighted that total revenue for the year was £257.m, up 29.4% year-on-year.

Over the financial year, the group’s residential development business delivered £248m of forward sales from 954 units, with an average selling price of £329,000.

Weston Group has now expanded to have four operating divisions: Weston Homes, the residential development business; Weston Business Centres, the serviced offices division; the environmental consultancy business and Weston Logistics, the group’s newly launched, 40 staff strong, logistics and plant hire business.

Established in 1987, Weston Group currently employs over 460 people, and has a development pipeline of 6,000 new homes, with a completed value of £2 billion.

Due to this pipeline, Weston Group is forecast to double in size over the next five years.

In order to facilitate future expansion, the company is injecting £28m in new investment into infrastructure, logistics and staffing. The firm has started construction on a new 49,000 sq ft head office in Stansted; Weston Logistics has opened a new 75,000 sqft automotive-industry style Distribution Centre near its head office in Stansted and the group has invested £1.5m on recruiting and training new people.

Bob Weston, chairman and chief executive of Weston Group, says: “Our plan is for the group to double in size over the next five years and in order to facilitate this growth, the group is injecting £28m in new investment into the business in the form of upgraded infrastructure, a new HQ and logistics warehouse and more staff employment and training.”

Stuart Thomas, group finance director at Weston Group says the company’s sustained growth is putting it in “a very strong financial position.”

“Over the next 12 months we will facilitate further growth through substantial investment in the business and acquiring more urban sites for development across outer London and the South East of England.”

Over the last 12 months the Weston Homes division reports that eight major developments have been 100% forward sold off-plan.

Alongside the residential development business, the revenue delivered by the group’s serviced offices and environmental consultancy business is also up on last year.

Weston Business Centres currently has 22 employees within its Takeley Business Centre and its Colchester Business Centre, offering in excess of 65,000 square feet of serviced office space.

The Takeley Business Centre contains eight firms and has a 100% occupancy rate whilst the Colchester Business Centre contains 48 firms, with an 80% occupancy rate.

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