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Fri November 27 2020

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Wates builds up its bank balance

17 Apr Family-owned construction firm Wates Group has posted its financials for 2019 showing both revenue and profit holding steady in what it described as ‘a challenging market’.

Wates Grouo chief executive David Allen
Wates Grouo chief executive David Allen

For the year to 31st December 2019, Wates Group made a pre-tax profit of £36.2m (up 0.8% on 2018) from turnover up 2.1% to £1.63bn.

At the end of the year, the business had £142.2m cash in the bank, which was 25% more than it started the year with.

It also ended the year with a record order book of £5.9bn, up 9% (2018: £5.4bn).

The Wates Construction division grew its turnover by 8.7% in 2019 to £922.7m.  Wates Construction started work on Parliament’s Northern Estate Programme, won the contract to build the Sandwell Aquatic Centre near Birmingham and became the only major contractor to achieve strategic supplier status with the Department for Education. Wates Construction also maintained its position as the leading builder of schools in the UK, with £600m of projects in development at the year-end.

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Other highlights from 2019 included extending its bank facilities to £120m and a lost time injury rate of just 0.05.

Chief executive David Allen said: “The Wates Group’s financial performance in 2019 was excellent.  We ended the year in a position of substantial financial strength, with significant cash reserves and the support of our banks.

“Since then, the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted every aspect of our lives.  Individuals, communities and businesses are all having to adapt to meet challenges that seemed unthinkable a few weeks ago.  Wates has overcome many difficulties during our 123-year history and we will come through the difficulties created by Covid-19. We are doing everything we can to support our people, our customers and our suppliers, and to make sure we are as ready as we can be to push on to greater, more sustainable success once this crisis is over.”

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