Wates trumpets record order book despite Brexit slowdown

Aaron Morby 3 months ago
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Contractor Wates Group started the year with record orders up 6% despite seeing a Brexit related slowdown in mainstream construction activity in 2018.

Chief executive David Allen says group is well set for 2019 despite Brexit slowdown

Growth in its residential development and property services businesses helped to offset a 9% fall in construction activities over the year.

Wates ended 2018 with stable pre-tax profits up 1% to £36m on steady revenue of  £1.6bn, maintaining group operating margin at 2.4%.

Last year Wates invested £56m in its residential developments businesses and £10m in its commercial property portfolio.

Across the group, residential development revenue rose 11% to £233m, property services turnover grew 8% to £514m, while mainstream construction slipped back to around £850m.

The group maintained a strong cash position throughout the year, finishing 2018 with £114m and received significant backing from its existing banks and from a new bank who, together, extended facilities from £60m to £120m.

Chief executive David Allen said after encouraging results Wates was looking forward to a strong 2019 with record orders at £5.4bn. He predicted group revenue would be up by around 10% in the year ahead.

He said: “We’ve delivered another year of increased profits by continuing to concentrate on working in the sectors and geographies where we have proven expertise and for customers with whom we enjoy positive, effective relationships.

“We’ve entered 2019 in great shape, with a record order book and significant backing from our banks to support the investments we want to make in our future.

“So, we’re excited about what lies ahead for the Wates Group, whatever external pressures the next few months might bring.”

 

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