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Willmott Dixon grows interim profit 37%

7 Oct 10 Willmott Dixon has posted a 37% increase in pre-tax profit to £8.6m (H1 2009: £6.3m) for the six months ending 30 June 2010.

Willmott Dixon has posted a 37% increase in pre-tax profit to £8.6m (H1 2009: £6.3m) for the six months ending 30 June 2010.

Turnover edged upwards to £481m (H1 2009: £475m).

Cash and bank balances grew to £63.8m (H1 2009: £39.5m).

Its order book now exceeds £1.1bn, with a further £480m under negotiation, and the firm has secured a place on the Procure21+ framework.

In support services, Willmott Dixon Partnerships won two big social housing maintenance contracts at Birmingham South and Rotherham, with a combined value of £165m.

Group chief executive Rick Willmott said the firm was trying to position itself on longer term projects to offset the impact of cuts in public sector capital spending.

Examples of these projects include the Dee Park estate in Reading, where Willmott Dixon is building 862 homes over six years, and Woking Gateway development, where the group has formed a JV with Carisbrooke to regenerate Woking town centre.

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“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,” said Willmott. “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.

“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.”

Willmott said he was pleased with the “notable progress” of the group's private housing business.

“Sales rates are on track at the Harmony residential development in Twickenham, and the sales programme now launched on phase one at Dee Park estate, Reading,” he said. “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.”

Commenting on the outlook, Willmott added: “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.”

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