Miller Group admitted yesterday that it faced a more challenging environment – but was confident it could grow and develop. Financial Times

Keith Miller, chief executive of the UK’s largest privately owned housebuilding and construction business, said: ‘Against the backdrop of five interest rate increases since August 2006, the group made good progress in the first half, with all three businesses performing ahead of expectations.’

Group profit before tax and exceptionals rose by 5% to £35.8m on turnover of £568m, up from £550m last time.

Bob Speirs, chairman of the Edinburgh-based group, which is now the UK’s sixth-biggest housebuilder, said total returns were not forecast to continue at levels enjoyed during the last few years.

’However, we are primarily a property developer with a business model of adding value to each asset we own, rather than purely speculating in property values. We have a long pipeline of exciting projects with good prospects which provides confidence in delivering future profits,’ he said.