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Mon June 14 2021

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Willmott Dixon looks to help subcontractors despite sliding numbers

30 May 13 Privately-owned construction group Willmott Dixon saw its turnover and profit slide a little last year but it is taking action to support its subcontractors with a new payment initiative.

Rick Willmott
Rick Willmott

For the year to 31 December 2012, Willmott Dixon’s pre-tax profit was down 26% to £15.7m (2011: £21.1m) on turnover down 2% to £1.03bn (2011: £1.05bn).

The Capital Works division saw its turnover fall from £966m in 2011 to £904m, while Support Services grew to £110m in 2012 from £83m in 2011. Willmott Dixon now has a portfolio of more than 170,000 properties that it looks after.

Willmott Dixon group chief executive Rick Willmott said: “While our work volumes and turnover held up well in a tough market, our reduced pre-tax profit is a reflection of the tighter margins available across our core markets.”

He added: “It’s been a very tough two years for our industry, at every level, and we must ensure that our supply chain is sustained to ensure that there is capacity for growth when our markets improve.”

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Steps are therefore being taken to try to make it easier for suppliers and subcontractors to do business with Willmott Dixon. Mr Willmott explained:  “We are in the process of inviting our Category A subcontractors to use a newly developed web portal in order to gain direct access to our accounts payable records for full visibility of payment records and due dates. We have over 100 signed up already.”

Mr Willmott expressed confident that the company’s strategy was working: “What is vitally important is the progress we continue to make in creating a platform for new growth, including an increasing pipeline of development work through our Regen division, the wider take-up of our Sunesis standardised designs, and contract and framework wins by our Energy Services company that launched successfully in 2012,” he said.

"Our recent successful re-appointment as sole contractor on Scape’s major works framework is a massive achievement with the capability of delivering £1.25bn of work over the next four years. Equally importantly, as a result of the framework award, is opportunity for us to continue to drive down procurement time and construction costs for our clients, while also supporting local SMEs and job creation by association. Given the trading environment we continue to operate in, supporting the ‘local pound’ is one of the most important priorities for Willmott Dixon and with Scape our aim is that 60% of project budgets are spent on companies within a 20 mile radius of each site.”

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