Cala profit falls 33% to £112m amid L&G sale talk

Edinburgh-based upmarket home builder Cala Group, currently owned by Legal & General, has reported a 2023 profit before tax of £112.3 million, down about 33% from £169.2 million in 2022.

Cala said the number of homes it sold decreased to 2,917 from 3,027 in 2022.

This resulted in turnover of £1.251 billion, down 5.5% year on year.

Reuters reported earlier this month that Legal & General is lining up investment bank Rothschild to oversee a potential sale of Cala. Industry analysts believe Cala could be worth up to £750 million.

Cala Group CEO Kevin Whitaker wrote: “A steady sales rate and strong average selling price (ASP) resulted in the delivery of £315,000 revenue per site per week, which supported Cala’s decision to continue to invest in land throughout 2023.

“During the 12-month period, Cala contracted 19 new short term and strategic sites, capable of delivering 2,705 new homes.

“These sites have a gross development value (GDV) over £1.4bn with the ASP of the units being £526,000. Cala remains committed to this strategy and our land and planning teams across the UK are actively seeking further opportunities to invest in sustainable developments in desirable locations in 2024.

“During the year, strong progress was achieved towards our sustainability targets of building homes that are operationally net zero carbon enabled from 2030 and reaching net zero total greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

“Cala’s operational greenhouse gas emissions in 2023 were 7,189 tCO2e – representing a 28.7% reduction on the 2021 baseline figure. Progress towards our Science Based Target was even stronger, with Scope 1 and 2 emissions reducing by 38.1% in 2023 compared to 2021.

“As part of our commitment to sustainable development Cala acquired Taylor Lane Timber Frame Limited, one of the UK’s leading timber frame construction specialists, in May 2023.

“Taylor Lane will supply Cala’s five English businesses in the Cotswolds and South of England, while continuing to service existing customers and grow their presence in the wider market.

“In addition, Cala is actively progressing a number of initiatives to further develop our systems, people and processes to ensure continuous improvement and progress towards our ambition of bringing meaningful benefit to our people, our customers, local communities and the planet, alongside enhanced financial returns.”