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Mon May 27 2024

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Wates tops £2bn

26 Mar While much of the UK construction industry took a battering in 2023, it was a bumper year for the family-owned Wates Group.

Current Wates schemes include the AESC UK gigafactory in Sunderland
Current Wates schemes include the AESC UK gigafactory in Sunderland

Wates has unveiled financial results for 2023 showing profits up 37% on record turnover, topping £2bn for the first time.

Wates Group made a pre-tax profit of £46.2m (2022: £33.7m) on revenue up 15% at £2.18bn (2022: £1.89bn).

It has now delivered a profit before tax every year for more than two decades.

Wates ended the year with a record order book worth £8.54bn. Net cash was reduced from £153m to £138m on account of investments including house-building joint ventures. A £90m revolving credit facility remained undrawn at the year-end.

Wates Construction reported £1.17bn turnover, up 22% from last year, and secured £1.1bn in new work, with a highest-ever average project value of £48.3m.

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Current major schemes include the design and build of the AESC UK gigafactory in Sunderland, the redevelopment of London’s Canada Water and the 4 Angel Square office building in Manchester.

Turnover in the group’s residential business was up 4% to reach £323m, delivering 276 homes over the year with more than 3,000 homes under construction.

Wates Developments secured its highest-ever profit before tax, alongside a turnover of £147m, an increase of 16% on 2022. Property Services increased turnover to £545m in 2023. Wates Facilities Management increased its turnover by 19% thanks to contract renewals and extensions.

Chief executive Eoghan O’Lionaird, who joined the business in February 2023, said: “Despite a challenging external environment, we delivered a strong performance last year. Whilst it’s great to pass the £2bn turnover mark, it’s just as encouraging to see an increase in profit. Our stable family governance and clear purpose have provided a firm foundation upon which we continue to go from strength to strength.

“We are in an excellent position, with profitability across all parts of our business, a solid cash balance and a positive tangible net worth. Our record forward order book demonstrates our customers’ confidence in our ability to deliver projects of all types and sizes. This confidence is hard-earned, with Wates delivering profit before tax every year for more than two decades.”

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