Willmott Dixon sees pre-tax profits jump 55% to £37m

Rick Willmott. CEO, Willmott Dixon.

Willmott Dixon’s strategic decision to focus entirely on construction and fitting-out over the last two years has shown strong results – with pre-tax profits up by 55% to £37.m in new accounts published today.

The accounts, for the 12 months to 31 December 2018, also show an increase in pre-tax profit margin up to 2.8%, a rise from 1.9% in 2017, and an increased turnover of £1.323bn compared to £1.269bn in 2017.

The company’s 2018 financial highlights include: 

  • Turnover up to £1.323bn (2017: £1.269bn)
  • Profit before tax* up 55% to £37.5m (2017: £24.2m) 
  • Profit before tax margin* up to 2.8% (2017: 1.9%)
  • Cash at bank up to £90.5m (2017: £82.8m)
  • No debt
  • Access to Bank facilities unused but committed to 2021
  • Net assets up to £170.2m (2017: £142.2m)
  • Best payment terms and payment on time statistics of any major contractor
  • Repeat business - 67% of orders in 2018
  • Frameworks - 73% of turnover procured via frameworks
  • Reduced construction waste intensity by 57% since 2012
  • Construction activity turnover - £1,198bn (2017: £1,141bn)
  • Interiors activity turnover - £125m (2017: £128m)

*excluding goodwill amortisation and sale of subsidiary in 2017

Willmott Dixon’s group chief executive Rick Willmott said: “Our approach of the last two years to focus entirely on construction and fit-out is showing strong results with good earnings growth, increased margin, a solid cash position and a robust, sustainable forward order book.

“This at a time when the pipeline of work available to the country’s 50 largest contractors has continued to diminish post the 2016 Brexit referendum; caused by postponement or cancellation of project opportunities. Being in a position of strength to weather the consequences of a further material depletion in accessible workload will remain a key priority for Willmott Dixon.

“That is why our role on public sector procurement frameworks will be a key driver for our business; at present this gives us access to £25bn of potential workload volume. With that comes the responsibility of ensuring our work helps to sustain a healthy supply chain and I’m delighted that we are recognised as the best payer of supply chain partners across the top twenty contractors in the government’s first two statutory reporting periods, with an average payment time of 32 days, something we hope to better by this time next year.

“We also have an eye on the future of our industry in terms of finding the next generation of people to choose construction as a long-term career, especially given the CITB’s recent annual Construction Skills Network report which predicted approximately 168,500 construction jobs will be created in the UK over the next five years. Another way we’ll help meet the skills challenge is by reaching out to a broader pool of talent, and that includes our aspiration to achieve a 50/50 gender balance by grade by 2030.”

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