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Churchill marches forward as sales and prospects rise

FINANCE

JANUARY produced the best monthly sales of retirement homes in the last five years at specialist home builder Churchill.

The firm sold 146 units in the year to November 2005 at an average price of £185,000 ? up from £112,000 in 2004 ? and it aims to sell 255 units by 2007.

Group managing director Clinton McCarthy said: 'Our forward sales are 150 per cent up on a year ago.' Churchill's sales are small compared to the 2,000 units sold by retirement giant McCarthy & Stone but the Ringwood-based firm is working on a new five-year plan to help them compete. Drawn up with corporate advisers KPMG, the plan will be unveiled in the next few weeks.

Mr McCarthy added: 'The next five years will impact margins but overheads will not be as high as we had thought.' His father co-founded McCarthy & Stone but has since quit to join him and his brother Spencer on Churchill's board.

Churchill has three more offices in Bromsgrove, Byf leet and Exeter and turned over £27 million last year ? up from £24.6 million in 2004, when the firm made a pre-tax profit of £5 million.

McCarthy: 'Overheads not as high under five-year plan'