Willmott Dixon’s contracting focus delivers strong performance

A strategic decision to focus entirely on construction and fitting-out over the last two years has yielded strong results for Willmott Dixon.

Accounts at the construction and fit-out company for the 12 months to 31 December 2018 have showed pre-tax profits were up by 55% to £37.5 million.

The accounts 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 £1.323 billion compared to £1.269bn in 2017.

The debt-free contractor said it is building a solid cash position in order to weather further client project delays stemming from Brexit uncertainty.

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 fifty 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.”

Mr Willmott added: “Looking at 2019 and beyond, I remain proud that a key strength of the Group is our purpose beyond profit ethos; demonstrated through the actions of our people to create a positive legacy where we work, where we can improve the life chances of many people in the communities where we operate. More and more people want to work for a company that has a defined purpose to improve the general wellbeing of society and our people have shown how important this is for them with four out of five helping to deliver a community related project outside their ‘day job’ in 2018, an investment of over £2m a year in our people’s time to improve the lives of others.”

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