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Milne confident of prospect for growth

FINANCE

STEWART MILNE is boosting its land bank in advance of a step change in completions at the Aberdeen-based house builder, which expects to move into England by December.

The firm, which lifted pretax profits £8 million to a record £28 million in the year to June 2006, has raised its land bank to 10,000 plots - up from 7,000 a year ago.

Chief executive Stewart Milne said: 'The marketplace for house building remains positive and is indeed quite strong in some parts of Scotland.

'But the recent rise in interest rates, along with an expectation of another increase to come, could lead to a cooling of the marketplace. The group remains confident of continuing to grow the business over the next few years.'

Stewart Milne hoisted turnover £66 million to £283 million in the past year.

Turnover at the core housing business was up a quarter at £180 million, with the timber frame business hoisting workload 13 per cent to £72 million.

The remaining turnover comes from contracting and development.