25 / 02 / 2021

Partnership housing specialist Lovell has made an important contribution to the 2020 year end results, released today by parent company Morgan Sindall Group plc, the construction and regeneration group.

Morgan Sindall Group demonstrated resilience in the face of the COVID pandemic, delivering an adjusted operating profit of £68.5m (FY 2019: £93.1m) on revenue of £3.0bn (FY 2019: £3.1bn). The Group reported a secured order book of £8.3bn, up 9% year-on-year.  With a strengthened balance sheet and net cash of £333m (FY 2019: £193m), the Group has ended 2020 with real momentum. It now expects profit to be materially ahead of its previous expectations and slightly ahead of that delivered in 2019.  

Lovell reported an operating profit of £16.1m which was 12% down on the previous year due to COVID related delays on sites; however, the secured order book grew significantly to c£1.3 billion.  This high quality order book reflects the strategic progress the business is making and is further strengthened by the market opportunity available.  Looking ahead, it is expected that continued operational improvements and the benefit of higher revenue will drive margin and profit growth.

During 2020, Lovell built c2200 homes nationwide ranging from new-build open market homes, private rented sector housing and affordable homes to large-scale refurbishment and housing-led regeneration programmes.

Lovell managing director, Steve Coleby says: “Since we announced our half year results back in August, the impact of the pandemic continues to be a dominant factor in our lives.  Yet, despite the complexity and enormity of the issues we all face we have seen higher levels of construction and sales activity. It has been particularly rewarding to be able to safely move families into a Lovell home, at a time when ‘home’ has never been more important.

“Going forward, we must not lose sight of the wider issues.  Tackling climate change and reducing our carbon footprint is critical and by harnessing the resources, knowledge and skills of the wider Group, we can make a much bigger impact.  Greater forward planning and collaboration has been one of the positive outcomes of COVID-19 and as we have demonstrated in the last year, if we remain open-minded and dispense with out-dated methods of doing business, we can make progress faster.”

Lovell is working on key projects including:

Lockside, is a £44 million-pound, 16 acre, disused brownfield site located in Walsall, West Midlands currently under construction.  This development will be the first major regeneration project for Anthem Lovell LLP, a Joint Venture between Lovell and Anthem Homes, subsidiary of whg. This major transformational project will consist of 252 multi-tenure dwellings.

Demolition work has now commenced at Morris Walk and Maryon Road in Woolwich, where Lovell will be constructing 931 new homes over 3 phases in blocks up to 13 storeys. This follows the successful completion of 684 mixed tenure homes on earlier phases through the development partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

The c.£250m Salisbury Plain project, delivered in partnership with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, successfully completed the building of 917 Service Family Homes. The project is currently concluding the construction of a c.£16m Off Site Highways improvement scheme.

Amblers Orchard, Westerton Walk, Leeds is the first of four Extra Care schemes due to be developed by Lovell Later Living as part of Leeds City Council’s ambitious extra care housing programme.  Being delivered in partnership with Home Group and Leeds City Council, this scheme, comprising 63 one and two bedroom apartments is due for completion in July 2021.

Lovell has entered into a Joint Venture with Abri, which will see the development of 500 units in Weymouth.  The project, with a value of £117m, will include 45% affordable homes and forms part of a wider urban scheme which includes retail and leisure development.

Success continues at Wales’ largest regeneration project, The Mill in Cardiff, with the final remaining open market homes due to complete in the next few months, a year ahead of programme. The Lovell team has begun the third phase of the affordable homes programme which will see the next 105 affordable homes delivered for rent through Tirion Homes and Cadwyn Housing Association.

Lovell has started work at St Edmunds Park, Acle a new development of 137 dwellings, being the first project to be delivered through the partnership with Repton Property Developments. The second development at Hopton which will deliver a further 200 new homes is scheduled to commence in April 2021.

The second Lovell Together LLP scheme is underway and will run for just over 4 years.  Totalling 175 homes, Saddler’s Grange in Howden, near Selby includes 131 open market homes and 44 affordable properties.  Lovell started on site in February 2021 and the sales centre and show homes will be ready for the summer.

Scotland continues to be a growth area for Lovell with four new developments starting in 2021 including the development of Philips Hamilton, a former lighting factory.  The factory, which sits on a 15 acre site in the South Lanarkshire town of Hamilton, will be developed to include more than 160 new homes including 42 affordable properties for Clyde Valley Housing Association.

Lovell will be starting on site soon with the construction of 188 homes in the first of a two-phase scheme in Joint Venture with Trafford Housing Group.  This Joint Venture alone will see the building of 600 homes and is just one of 21 developments on site in 2021.

To view the Morgan Sindall Group plc year end results video, click here.