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Gladedale sales up 75 pc

FINANCE

HOME sales have leapt by three-quarters at Gladedale, putting Remo Dipre's privately owned group among the top 15 house builders.

Gladedale sold 1,874 units in 2004 to double pre-tax profits to £40 million.Mr Dipre expects further growth this year despite a slowing housing market and planning delays.

He said: 'Gladedale traded very strongly across all the operating divisions.

'Planning delays have hampered our target growth for 2005 as a result of protracted negotiations in obtaining detailed consents.

'While the slowdown has resulted in extending the sales process, this has not had a major impact on the sales for the year so far.'

Turnover at Gladedale spiralled up £108.5 million to £340.6 million in 2004.

Gladedale bought Scottish house builder Bett for £96 million in spring 2003 and north of the border contributed the bulk of sales with 1,010 homes sold.

In northern England, Gladedale sold 410 homes - up 55 per cent on 2003 - with 454 units offloaded in southern England, up 50 per cent.

Gladedale has boosted its landbank to 26,000 plots owned or controlled by the end of last year.That figure has since risen 10 per cent as Gladedale bought £81 million turnover Country & Metropolitan in March as part of Mr Dipre's strategy of lifting turnover to £1 billion before seeking a stock exchange float.

At the end of 2004, Mr Dipre owned all of Gladedale's 50,000 shares and paid himself a dividend of £20 per share.

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