Wates Group turnover in the year endings 31st December 2018 was £1,600m, just a shade down on 2017’s £1,620m. Pre-tax profit was up 1% to £35.9m (2017: £35.7m).
The order book at year-end was worth £5.4bn, which is a new high for Wates.
During 2018 Wates invested £55.6m in its residential developments businesses and £10m in its commercial property portfolio. It also increased the contributions it made to its defined benefit pension scheme.
The business maintained a strong cash position throughout the year, finishing 2018 with £114.2m cash and an enlarged and extended £120m borrowing facility to call on as needed.
There was a 9% reduction in construction turnover to £849m, which was described as “a residual effect of the deceleration in the market in the quarters before and after the EU referendum [in June 2016]”.
Turnover from residential development grew by 11% to £233.3m and property services by 8% to £514m on the back of contract wins in regeneration and social housing.
Chief executive David Allen said: “These are really encouraging results. 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.
“Over the past year we’ve been reflecting on what really matters to us and how we want our business to be in the future. We believe we have a responsibility to work together – with our customers, suppliers and everyone involved in or affected by what we do – to inspire better ways of creating the places, communities and businesses of tomorrow.
“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.”