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Milne plots move south in next year

FINANCE

ABERDEEN-based house builder Stewart Milne hopes to be operating in England within 12 months.

Glenn Allison, managing director at the firm, which has pushed pre-tax profits up 21 per cent to £17 million, said: 'We're looking at locations and will hone it down to the best two or three.We'll then decide whether acquisition or organic growth is the best route but we're already looking at some land opportunities.'

The company's only English operation is a timber frame factory in Witney, Oxfordshire, which produced 4,000 units last year.

Mr Allison expects the plant to reach its capacity of 5,000 units in the next 18 months.

In the year to June 2004, Milne's turnover edged up 7 per cent to £189 million and the consented land bank hit 2,500 plots.