West of England housing association Merlin has announced a record £15m surplus as it prepares to create a new organisation with Midlands-based Bromford.
The surplus – up £2m from last year – comes on an overall operating margin of 35% and was reported in the week before the partnership with Bromford begins on 2 July.
Merlin also increased the number of new affordable homes it built by 46% to 186, including nearly 100 for social rent, began work on a further 326, and recorded a boost in customer satisfaction – up 2% to 86%.
The statements were published in the same week that Moody’s affirmed its A1 rating with a negative outlook for Bromford in response to Bromford and Merlin joining forces.
Bromford and Merlin announced their intention to create a partnership in December 2017.
Speaking of this final set of results for Merlin as a stand-alone association, Finance Director Ben Taylor said: “We are in an extremely strong and envious position as this new era begins. The end of the year saw our liquidity at £120m and our debt per unit is just £11.6k.
“Combining forces with Bromford will create an organisation stretching from the West Midlands to North Somerset that owns nearly 40,000 homes and employs over 200 neighbourhood coaches working with our customers and communities.
“We will have the funds and the talent to deliver even more homes across our new expanded operating area. We plan to invest £1.5bn over the next decade to develop 14,000 new homes.”
Read the full Financial Statements 2017-18.pdf[pdf] 8MB