Lower margins on housebuilding held back housebuilder and business park developer Artisan’s progress.
The latest figures are for the 15 months to June 2007 and the comparatives are for a 12 month period. Turnover jumped from £28.7m in the year to March 2006 to £41m in the 15 months to June 2007. Operating profits were flat at £3.7m although the latest period also included a revaluation surplus on investment properties of £262,000. Pre-tax profits were lower because of a more than doubled interest charge. Increased investment in land and investment properties meant that net debt increased to £10.75m.
Management argues that the change to IFRS accounting standards has flattered the previous year’s figures and masked the progress Artisan is making.
Business park development became a bigger proportion of the group and now accounts for nearly two-fifths of turnover. Its operating profit rose from £1.6m to £2.4m. In contrast the East Midlands residential market was tough. The current world financial situation could have a continued negative effect on the housebuilding division. Ripon’s landbank is currently 337 plots.
The final dividend of 1.5p a share takes the total for the year to 2.7p a share. A one-for-40 share consolidation earlier this year has cut the number of shareholders from more than 10,000 to less than 5,000.
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