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City & Country Group

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City & Country Group do development of historic buildings. They are privately owned and I was eventually reduced to paying £1 a throw to Companies House for annual reports in order to partially satisfy my curiosity. They did a 40 unit conversion in my neck of the woods at Balls Park. The C&G development shouldn't be confused with The Henmarsh Collection which is a development by Laing O'Rourke subsidiary Explore Living on the same site.

A little digging around shows that between selling the first unit in January 2011 they do seem to have shifted most of the Balls Park development - the Land Reg records tally with their, (allowing some differences caused by recent transactions) website but it has taken them 30 months and counting to get to this point. I haven't found any way of working out the extent to which the sales prices achieved reflected the sales prices envisaged when they planned the project.

I did the digging because it seemed to me that this is the kind of company that ought to find things a little tough in the changed market post 2008 but I couldn't find a squeak on t'interweb except this, "Financial backers pull out of King Edward VII hospital restoration project", in relation to another big project in Midhurst.

Analysis of the financials shows that their borrowings have run up from £14m in the 2009 accounts to £51m in the 2012 accounts. Over the same period stock has run up from £26m to £81m. Interest payable was £1,165,948 in 2008 and from 2009 to 2012 has run up from £422,263 to £2,050,759. In 2012 it was 80% interest on bank loans and overdrafts, so it seems they have an excellent relationship with their banks and that the banks have great confidence in them.

Anyone know anything about any of their developments in your neck of the woods?

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Never heard of them before.

City & Country is a family-owned business which was originally founded in 1962.

City & Country is the award winning restoration company owned by The Sargeant Family.

Some background from a 2009 article originally in PW. http://www.davidlawson.co.uk/Files/City%20&%20Country_118.htm

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