DESPITE a global pandemic and three month lockdown an Inverkeithing-based housebuilder has still managed to post a £1 million profit.

Muir Group PLC announced its financial results for 2020/21 and the "robust response" made for good reading with the company adding that there's a positive outlook for the year ahead.

The £1m profit was against a turnover of £63m and added up to nine consecutive years of profitable trading, and despite a "very difficult trading year" Muir Construction's turnover increased to just under £39m, five of the group’s divisions returned a profit and Muir Timber Systems moved from a loss into profit.

And they're upbeat about 2021/22 with significant growth planned across its divisions, including construction, property development and Muir Homes.

Expansion of operations in the central belt is also on the agenda, as the company looks for further land opportunities.

John Muir, chairman of Muir Group, said: “These results are a robust response to a challenging and unprecedented year for the construction sector.

"The pandemic had a significant impact on revenues and operations.

"However, Muir Group reported another profitable year – that is an achievement I am very proud of.

"Turnover was down from a year ago, but the shutdown of construction for nearly three months affected the handover of private houses and completion of projects.

"Overall group profits of £1m is a credible performance in such difficult conditions."

He continued: “The UK Government furlough scheme was a major lifeline, protecting jobs.

"It also meant we had 200 staff out of the business for a significant period.

"This year was demanding and the staff across all the businesses stepped up to the challenge.

"They have worked hard and the management team has played its part in creating a safe and effective workplace.

“Looking forward, on the trading front we have made a positive start to the year with a significant pipeline of activity planned and a strong balance sheet.

"Overall, the group is in good shape, continues to win major construction contracts, has a good land bank, has strength in identifying development sites in the right locations for the right markets, which will significantly enhance future results.

"We are focused on further growth in the central belt and are keen to identify sites for commercial and residential development there.”

Property development within subsidiary company, Hermiston and Muir Aberdeen, accelerated again this year to £4.5m revenues.

The results show a net loss as completion and sale of major developments will complete in future financial years.

Muir Timber Systems consolidated its position with a full order book and another busy year, returning a profit of £40,000 despite a decreased turnover of £4.4m.

The turnover figures reflected the halting of production during the lockdown period and the reduced staff numbers due to furlough, although the prospects for increased activity in the current year "look promising".

Revenues for Muir Homes reached £26.5m despite the lockdown affecting the ability to complete and handover new homes.

House completion decreased by 68 to 134 in the year, and although restricted in delivering the originally budgeted housing numbers, Muir Homes reported a profit of £586,000.

The business aims to create 155 houses this year and Muir is active on seven sites across the country.