The Group delivered a record performance in the first half against a difficult market backdrop, with Group revenue increasing by 9% up to £1,698m (HY 2021: £1,559m), while adjusted operating profit increased 4% to £56.9m (HY 2021: £54.8m). The Group demonstrated continued balance sheet strength with net cash at the period end of £274m and has a high-quality order book with a secured workload of £8.5bn. Following our strong first half performance and with the current visibility we have of the rest of the year, we now expect to deliver a result for the full year which is slightly ahead of our previous expectations.
Muse has had a strong start to the year, delivering place-changing regeneration in collaboration with its partners. The company is currently on site with 19 UK-wide projects, including close to 2,500 homes, with a total construction value of £878m and gross development value of over £1.2bn. The company’s order book and forward development pipeline now stands at £2.2bn.
Earlier this year, Muse announced that its key, national strategic partnership with Homes England and Legal & General, The English Cities Fund, was extended another 10 years to 2036, allowing its scope to grow further. The joint venture has 6,600 new homes and 2m sq ft of innovation and commercial space in the pipeline in high priority Levelling Up areas, including St Helens, Salford and Canning Town.
The business has kept up the momentum on rolling out its industry-leading sustainable development strategy, ‘Our Sustainable Future’; a transparent and clear approach which sets minimum sustainability and social value standards for its developments. Muse’s toolkit, which is underpinned by five key objectives, guides the company in creating sustainable developments that maximise social benefits and enhance the environment for future generations.
Construction commenced on a number of projects, including Greenhaus in Salford – 96 affordable, sustainable homes targeting Passivhaus standards; a 64,000 sq ft office and 400-space multi-storey car park at Stockport Exchange; 56,403 sq ft office at One City Park, Bradford; 113 affordable homes at Northshore, Stockton-on-Tees; 256 homes, including 75% affordable at Hale Wharf and enabling works at Brentford Lock West to unlock development of 450 new homes, new infrastructure and public space.
Construction completed on Muse’s 15-year success story, Logic Leeds. The award-winning industrial and logistics hub came to a conclusion as the final two units totalling 100,000 sq ft were completed and handed over. Working with partners, Muse has developed 1.225m sq ft prime employment space, home to thousands of jobs.
Work continued on a number of schemes around the country, including a Holiday Inn in Blackpool and commercial office developments in Birkenhead and Salford, with a 175,000 regional hub for BT and 115,000 net zero in operation office, Eden, both making good progress on site. The company is on site creating close to 2,500 new homes across a mix of tenures around the country, including 649 in Lewisham alongside a new cinema, leisure and workspace; 355 at Manor Road in Canning Town which feature over 50% affordable; 221 at Novella in Salford; 74 in Brixton and 44 at Durley Road, Bournemouth.
The company continued to secure new business, signing a development agreement with West Sussex County Council to deliver Horsham Enterprise Park – a sustainable and inclusive new neighbourhood including up to 250,000 sq ft of high-quality employment space, up to 300 new homes, with 35% affordable and public space.
Kate Bowyer, managing director at Muse, said: “Our focus continues to be creating vibrant, sustainable places that improve the fortunes of our towns, cities and local communities.
“We’ve had a strong start to the year, with some important milestones including the extension of our English Cities Fund joint venture, which uniquely positions us to deliver vital regeneration and placemaking, complementing the national levelling up agenda.
“We’ve been working with the public and private sector to overcome challenges and unlock complexity for nearly 40 years. We’ll continue collaborating with our partners around the UK to solve problems for communities through our places and build a brighter future, together.”