The group reported strong growth at the construction division in particular, which saw turnover rise 15% to £866m, but group-wide profit before tax and amortisation fell 39% to £15.8m.
Chief executive Rick Willmott said: “It’s been rewarding to see our continued growth across all our core activities, although as we come out of what has been a tough period for our industry, this is reflected by slightly reduced profits compared to 2014.
“Construction continues to be a ‘stand out’ business for us. Chief operating officer John Waterman has quickly stamped his mark and style on the company and is now turning his attention to creating a further outlet for our work with more growth geographically.”
Construction has secured 80% of its turnover for the next 12 months, including a multitude of projects in the pre-construction phase, he said, suggesting that the general construction market remained relatively buoyant.
The firms secured orderbook at the end of March has reached £1.5bn.
He added that plans possibly to hive off the firm’s housing maintenance and energy businesses were progressing with an announcement expected shortly.
“In February, we announced our intention to find a new home for Support Services that we believed would provide it with the best opportunity for future growth within an organisation that offered a greater support services focus.
“The last few months have seen a thorough process to identify a potential partner for both Willmott Dixon Partnerships and Willmott Dixon Energy Services. Productive dialogue continues and a decision on the best way forward will be taken shortly.”
Turnover by division
- Construction: £866m (2014: £753m)
- Interiors: £74m (2014: £74m)
- Willmott Residential: £231m (2014 £325m)
- Support Services: £151m (2014 £143m)
Looking ahead Willmott said the new-build residential business was expected to drive strong future profit growth. He said that the firm now had 5,000 homes in development for market sale and PRS.
“Our residential ambitions have been further heightened by the creation of Willmott Residential and 2016 will see a real focus on using the synergies within our company to deliver a significant part of the Government’s aim to build one million homes by 2020,” he said.