MacDonald Estates is predicting further growth this year despite tough market conditions after posting a profit of £5.1m for 2007.

The figure is an increase of 14.1% on the previous year and the ninth consecutive year of profit growth for Macdonald, started by entrepreneur Dan Macdonald in 1998.

But the Edinburgh-based company is planning to shift its long-term focus from purely commercial developments to building strategic new “mini-towns” including a 330-acre site it has identified in central Scotland. Other sites include Inverness and St Andrews.

Macdonald, chief executive of Macdonald Estates, said that by 2012, its focus will be almost exclusively fixed on community developments, with local power generation, sustainability and infrastructure as well as commercial premises.

Sunday Times