Willmott targets regen schemes as profits jump

Grant Prior 11 years ago
Share

Willmott Dixon is hoping to hoover-up an increasing share of the declining public sector market while continuing its expansion in the private housing and regeneration sectors.

Group chief executive Rick Willmott outlined the firm’s strategy as Willmott Dixon announced a 37% jump in pre-tax profits to £8.6m for the half year to June 30.

Turnover was steady at £481m compared to £475m last time and Willmott is repositioning the firm ready for the fall-out from the Comprehensive Spending Review later this month.

He said: “Looking at 2011 and 2012, we know that public spending, upon which we still rely for much of our work, will be reduced and that the private sector is unlikely to be able to take up the slack for some time to come.

“If we are to maintain turnover at current levels, then we shall need to secure an increasing proportion of the declining publicly sector market – focussing in particular on health and social housing – and to secure a substantial foothold in new private sector markets as they come on stream.”

Willmott believes the firm has survived the recession relatively unscathed after diversifying into the regeneration market.

The company has also picked-up a string of BSF and academy schemes while securing a place on the new Procure 21+ to deliver health schemes during the next six years.

Willmott said: “Given the challenges faced in the construction, housing and property sectors we are satisfied to have delivered half year results ahead of budget.

“Perhaps more importantly secured order books have held up better than expected in our capital works and support services divisions, and we’ve made good progress in positioning the regeneration division to deliver future growth.

“We remain acutely aware of the impending cuts in public sector capital projects, to be announced in the October spending review, which will inevitably have an impact upon the wider industry.

“We are, however, continuing to take steps to position the Group with longer term projects such as the Dee Park estate in Reading, where we are on site to create 862 homes over six years, and Woking Gateway development, where we are in JV with Carisbrooke to take forward the master plan to regenerate Woking town centre.

“These, and future projects in the more resilient sectors of the market, where we can present a fully integrated approach to the built environment, will provide the Group with the breadth and depth of service to position us well until markets recover.

“We were delighted to have gained Treasury funding approval for over £143 million of new BSF and Academy projects now being finalised by our pre-construction teams. This was followed by successfully securing a place on the Government’s Procure 21+ framework to deliver their health programme over the next six years.

“The Group’s contracting secured order book now exceeds £1.1 bn, with a further £480 million under negotiation for which we believe funding is already approved.

“Our private housing company has seen notable progress, with sales rates on track at the Harmony residential development in Twickenham, and the sales programme now launched on phase one at Dee Park estate, Reading.

“With planning permission awarded at Brenley Park in south London and two further phases to come at Dee Park, we are starting to build some real momentum.

“Our joint venture agreement with Carisbrooke for Woking Gateway is the first major scheme by our Developments company. Woking Gateway is a mixed-use scheme intended to regenerate an ageing town centre and we aim to take this through planning and onto site within the next three years.

“It is a high profile development that may ultimately involve four Group companies – Developments, Construction, Housing and Homes – and is an excellent example of what we hope to replicate in other parts of the country.”

Latest news

Willmott Dixon nabs £38m Kirklees police HQ

Work to start within next few weeks on regional police HQ
4 hours ago

BAM bags £110m refurb of iconic Covent Garden tower

Landmark Seifert-designed 15-storey Space House to get two extra floors
10 hours ago

Kier reported to be in talks to buy Tilbury Douglas

Talks reported to be at an advanced stage between both boards
20 hours ago

Finance sealed for next-generation London office job

Goldman Sachs takes stake in London Bridge office project
20 hours ago

John F Hunt starts giant clean-up on £110m Walsall site

Land remediation work at contaminated site will take two years
20 hours ago

Build to rent boom lifts Watkin Jones profit to £52m

Surging build to rent market lifts development pipeline to £1.8 billion
20 hours ago

HS2 awards £310m station lifts and escalators deal

TK Elevator signs 160 lifts and 130 escalators deal for four stations
2 days ago

Robot cutter set to revolutionise paving jobs for Eurovia

Automated system will spell end for noisy slab cutting on busy sites
2 days ago

First mass built carbon negative homes get underway

St Modwen first volume developer to build affordable carbon-negative homes
2 days ago

GMI Construction names new CEO

Lee Powell takes helm as CEO at GMI Construction in growth push
2 days ago

514-home London scheme clears final hurdle

Inland Homes declares victory after three-year planning battle over Hillingdon Master Brewer site
2 days ago

Henry Construction wins £30m Clarion housing scheme

Ravensbury estate regeneration in Mitcham is Henry's first project for Clarion
2 days ago

Lovell lands £700m homes deal with Suffolk council

Development joint venture will see at least 2,800 homes built across the county
2 days ago

Ballymore pulls 51-storey tower plan amid fire safety concern

London Fire Brigade raises concern about single staircase and fire strategy
5 days ago

New work surges as materials shortages ease

Mild weather and easing of supply chain bottlenecks lifts new work 5.7%
5 days ago

PDR Construction goes into administration

All staff made redundant as suppliers owed millions
6 days ago

Brick-laying robot gets approval from NHBC

Robot can now be used in construction of new homes covered by NHBC warranty
5 days ago

Temporary visa scheme needed for London sites

Mayor of London demands action over site skills shortages
6 days ago

Construction worker dies after fall from mobile tower

Court hears how tower wasn't configured correctly
6 days ago

Glencar wins £50m Peterborough logistics hub

Works start on trio of sheds at Kingston Park
6 days ago

Green light for £330m Woking high-rise cluster

Work to start on five blocks towards the end of 2022.
6 days ago

Countryside chief executive makes sudden exit

Major shareholder takes seat on board as first quarter trading falls below board expectations
6 days ago

Big names line-up for £2.7bn Birmingham roads deal

Arup, Arcadis, Balfour Beatty, Carnell, Colas, Kier and Tarmac among firms eyeing contract
6 days ago

Galliford Try scoops £56m Milton Keynes PRS job

Building arm will deliver 329 rental flats across four buildings rising up to 11 storeys
7 days ago

Designers shortlisted for £1bn Oxford Innovation district

Oxford Uni and L&G advance £1bn Begbroke science district plan
7 days ago

Subbies chase cash as work stops on PDR Construction sites

Subcontractors left in dark by £83m turnover contractor
1 week ago

Britain’s concrete producers join forces

Industry agrees single voice through lobbying group UK Concrete
6 days ago

Shapps pauses Smart motorway rollout amid safety concerns

Contractors will be allowed to complete schemes currently under construction
7 days ago

Wildgoose went down owing £9m to trade firms

More than 700 firms have been left out of pocket by the £50m turnover business
7 days ago

Keltbray bags Silvertown tunnelling waste removal

Riverlinx tunnelling team sign Keltbay to barge out excavated material
7 days ago

Contractor services