Redrow to exit Scottish housing market

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The Independent Online

Redrow is ditching its loss-making Scottish operations in order to focus its attention on the South-east.

The property developer, whichhas been building in Scotland since 1995, yesterday revealed it was seeking a buyer for its business north of the border. All 60 employees working at its Scottish office in Falkirk will have their jobs transferred as part of the sale.

Barbara Richmond, Redrow's finance director, said: "The board came to the decision it was better to focus on the South-east. The Scottish business is the smallest in Redrow. It is a difficult market but some sites sell well there. However, the South-east, and London in particular, has fewer planning issues, and there are a number of sites that were financed by banks which have got into difficulties. This means there are opportunities there for companies with strong balance sheets."

Redrow's Scottish business, which last year generated a turnover of £31m and made a small loss, has 11 ongoing developments in Scotland.

However, Robin Hardy, a housing analyst at Peel Hunt, played down the importance of the decision to sell.

He said: "The division doesn't make money and is a sub-scale business, so this isn't a life changer for Redrow."