Wates reports strong results

The construction company said group operating profit has risen for a sixth consecutive year within its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2010.

Wates said profit before tax increased by 12% to £43.5m and turnover, including joint ventures' turnover, rose by 4% to £985m.

Wates is currently delivering a 124,000 sq ft building for Liverpool John Moores University on Mount Pleasant in Liverpool city centre, as well as the £12m Learning Commons building on Oxford Road in Manchester for The University of Manchester.

The Surrey-based company said 2010 was challenging with construction output dropping by 2.5% in the final quarter of the year.

Paul Drechsler, chairman and chief executive of Wates, said: "We have achieved a strong set of results while maintaining our market share and competitive margins.

"I am particularly pleased to report a year-end balance sheet that is one of the strongest in the industry, a forward order book of £2bn and a total pipeline of new business opportunities worth £4.1bn. To help deliver our ambitious growth strategy, we expect to hire around 300 new people in 2011.

"Economic factors, including a decrease in public sector funding, coupled with our commitment to deliver even more responsible value for customers mean we must continue to innovate across our entire business model. In this respect, our established key strategic programmes – safety excellence, operational excellence, supply chain management, marketing, people and CSR – have provided a robust framework for delivering progress. Our focus is on accelerating these improvements and we enter 2011 with confidence that we will build upon our results.

"We thank our customers for their continuing loyalty and fully acknowledge the contribution of our supply chain partners and professional service providers whose commitment to delivery helped us to achieve these results."

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