Commenting on the accounts, Mr Higgins commended the continued strong performance of Buccleuch’s commercial property enterprise and the resilience of the rural enterprises.
“Over the year, Buccleuch Property invested in both income producing properties and development opportunities for the long-term. The team will approach each new investment cautiously, ensuring there remains the appropriate blend of sector-type and property location, across the UK and North America. We can see glimmers of hope, however, with emerging opportunities as a result of the fall in values as markets react to higher interest values and inflationary pressures.
“The rural businesses also performed well. Both farming and forestry reporting individual profits, despite uncertainty around agricultural subsidies and food production, and the continuing battle against the long-term effects of Storm Arwen.”
In late 2022, Buccleuch also reported the sale of the pumped storage hydro and wind projects at the former opencast coalmine at Glenmuckloch, Dumfries and Galloway, to a developer with the capacity to take the project to the next phase. In May 2023, Glenmuckloch will play host to Extreme E, an exciting sport for purpose electric car race, which will raise the profile of the area and local community environmental projects.
Within the annual accounts, Buccleuch notes that it successfully concluded an unsecured Private Placement in November 2021, locking in a long-term source of funding with a blended maturity of c. 32 years, at a fixed cost of debt.
Mr Higgins said: “The foundation of a strong balance sheet and secure long-term capital structure means Buccleuch approaches the new financial year with cautious optimism, whilst acknowledging the uncertain economic backdrop. The group will continue to invest and reinvest in its core assets across the estates and projects which ensure the business remains sustainable for the future.”