TopHat managing director to move on after just four years in post

The modular housebuilder’s tumultuous year continues, as managing director of TopHat, Andrew Shepherd, will depart after four years

Andrew Shepherd joined the offsite housebuilder in October 2020 after previous senior roles at Laing O’Rourke and Mid Group.

He posted the following on LinkedIn:

Losing the managing director is part of a “period of restructuring”

A TopHat spokesperson said: “2023 was a challenging period for the housing sector at-large, where a tough inflationary climate coincided with supply chain disruption. And, as a newer industry, MMC has been hit harder still.

“Despite the growing understanding that volumetric modular is a key part of the solution to the housing crisis, we can’t yet see signs of the market coming back and have needed to take prudent action to ensure the business remains healthy, protected, and ready for the upturn when it comes.

“This has meant some scaling back, and some personnel losses in this period of restructuring.”

TopHat’s planned expansion has stumbled

In March of this year, TopHat announced plans to make around 70 redundancies at its Derbyshire factory.

This was followed by the news that the company was putting its second factory, a 650,000 sq ft facility in Corby, on indefinite pause until further notice, with “every member” of the team laid off.  The factory development in Magna Park would have increased the volumetric modular housing manufacturer’s production capacity from 800 units a year to 4,800 units when complete.

As part of this planned expansion, Homes England agreed to lend TopHat £15m in Autumn 2023. They also secured £70m in investment in early 2023 from the likes of FTSE-100 housebuilder Persimmon and institutional investor Aviva.

However, the company is yet to turn a profit, posting a £20.4m pre-tax loss for the year to 31 October 2022, up 5% on the previous year.

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