Harrison looking at profits of £1m for the year

YORK-based S Harrison Developments said it was on course to report pre-tax profits of around £1m for 2012, after a “challenging but successful year”.

Ann Scott, the firm’s managing director, made the comments as she handed over the £32m new headquarters and customer centre building to City of York Council.

Ms Scott said the group was well-placed to face the challenges which the next few years will hold for the property sector.

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She added: “Our measured growth, underpinned by a sound balance sheet, puts us in a strong position to capitalise on the opportunities which undoubtedly exist out there.

“I believe we have the team and the reputation for delivery which will continue to make us appealing development partners throughout 2013 and beyond.”

Earlier this year, the group announced post-tax profits for 2011 of £2.94m with shareholder funds standing at £22.89m, of which £8.13m was held in cash.

In December, with development partners Buccleuch Property, S Harrison delivered the new council HQ on time and within budget. In 2012, the Harrison/Buccleuch team also completed the £10m Hampton by Hilton hotel on the West Offices site in York.

S Harrison is also involved in the redevelopment of the Hungate site in York, which will see insurers Hiscox bring 400 jobs to the city. Ms Scott, who was appointed group MD during 2012, having joined the business in 2003 as finance director, expects little improvement in market conditions in 2013. However, she believes there are pockets of growth which give some cause for optimism.

She added: “Business confidence generally remains low but there are signs of revival. A look at the take-up of space at our office and warehousing development at Escrick Business Park suggests there are businesses out there which are thriving and willing to invest. It is vital that the banks make money available to small and medium-sized businesses on reasonable terms to drive the nation’s recovery.”