Gateway firm’s ‘solid’ results

An artist's impression of Blackpool's Central Business District showing the proposed council offices.
An artist's impression of Blackpool's Central Business District showing the proposed council offices.
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AS Blackpool welcomes the start of work on the Central Business District site, the developer behind the £220m project is celebrating a solid set of half year results.

Muse Developments’s big resort contract contributed to the standing of parent construction and regeneration company Morgan Sindall Group, bosses said.

The group announced profit before tax results, amortisation of intangible assets and non-recurring items was £20.3m on £1bn revenue.

The results were in line with expectations for the first six months to June 30, the company added.

In Blackpool, Muse is working together with Blackpool Council to deliver the £220m regeneration scheme which will create new retail, commercial and community space in addition to town centre parking and transport facilities.

The scheme will also include a new public square, council offices, a new supermarket which has been pre-sold to Sainsbury’s and two hotels.

Planning consent has been given for phase one of the Central Business District project to build a new council office building, a remodelled multi-storey car park and a Sainsbury’s store.

Coun Gary Coleman, cabinet member for regeneration and urban development, said: “I’m sure residents have noticed the demolition work taking place on the Central Business District site.

“This is the start of the process to revitalise this area, it’s an exciting time.”

During the first half of 2012, the developer, which operates five divisions of construction and infrastructure, fit out, affordable housing, urban regeneration and investment work, benefited from its strong track record, sector spread and a healthy development pipeline which now stands at £1.6bn, with a further £0.6bn of schemes at preferred bidder stage.

Mike Horner, Muses’s regional director, said: “Our plans at Blackpool and across the region clearly demonstrates our ability to deliver major regeneration projects in a challenging market.

“Our reputation for providing high-quality, mixed-use schemes makes us an attractive proposition as a development partner and we continue to look to take advantage of new development opportunities that arise throughout the rest of the year.”

The group also reported a sound order book of £3.2bn supplemented by a £1.8bn pipeline of regeneration schemes with a further £0.6bn at preferred developer stage.

Adjusted earnings per share for the period were 39.3p. The board has declared a maintained interim dividend of 12p.