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Miller Group turnover down 16pc

Miller Group has reported revenues of £338 million, a fall of 16 per cent on last year’s £404m, in the six months ended 30 June 2010.

The group said it made a pre-tax loss of £26.9m in the first six months of 2010, compared to a pre tax loss of £33.8m in the same perdiod of 2009.

The loss was made after the firm paid £30.2m in interest on its £808m debt pile, which was actually reduced by £135m in the first six months of the year.

Miller chief executive Keith Miller said: “We continue to make good progress in all businesses, each delivering an improved performance compared with 2009. Cash generation is strong as we recalibrate our debt to a more sustainable level.

“Our forward land prospects are very encouraging, with 11,260 plots allocated in local plans providing us with visibility and excellent opportunities for profitable growth over the next five years.”

The group has secured forward sales on 1,804 houses so far, which is equivalent to 90 per cent of its 2010 target.

Its forward order book was £569m at the end of the first half, virtually unchanged from £600m at the same period last year.

Miller group chairman Sir Brian Stewart said of the future outlook: “Miller Group has generated a solid performance which we expect to continue, despite the current economic and financial uncertainties and the likelihood of severe public sector spending cuts later this year, all of which is likely to impact adversely on consumer confidence.

“Whilst there have been encouraging signs of economic recovery, it is widely acknowledged that the markets
will remain unpredictable in the short to medium term exacerbated by the Spending Review in October and
proposed government spending cuts.”

It expects a sharp turnaround in its construction business for the remainder of 2010. In the first half, the construction division saw revenue of £155m, down from £228m in 2009.

Despite this, it has secured orders to deliver a turnaround of £300m for 2010.