Southern Housing Group has maintained its strong financial position, consolidating its Moody’s A1 credit rating, following strong performance in the 2013/14 financial year.
The strong credit rating is another vote of confidence in the way the Group organises its finances and manages risk, and allows the business to continue developing new homes without public subsidy – an objective laid out in its corporate strategy.
The Group’s business plan projects a development programme of more than 1100 new units by 2018, an objective that will be funded in part by this year’s surplus of £37.3 million. This year’s accounts also show a turnover of £159 million and an improved operating margin of 2.3% to 33.1%.
Southern Housing Group Finance Director, Rosemary Farrar, said that the Group’s focus on delivering value for money and becoming more commercially aware had helped consolidate its financial position and credit rating.
“We repositioned ourselves during the year under the new mission of A business with social objectives and part of this is to ensure our long-term success through delivering our business plan and ongoing development programme.
“Our A1 credit rating will help us to continue developing a mixed-tenure approach at our new schemes, providing both affordable and intermediate rental options, as well as shared ownership properties and outright sales, which cross-subsidise future affordable developments.
“We continue to invest in our current stock to ensure it maintains its value. Last year we were able to deliver significant value for money returns through better contract management of our cyclical decorations, planned maintenance and repairs programmes.”
Earlier this year, the Group also issued its first bond, worth up to £175 million over the next five years, allowing the business to draw upon funds at lower interest rates than those offered by banks.