21 March 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
The Wates Group, one of the UK's largest family-owned construction, development and property services companies, has reported increased profits for the year ending 31 December 2018.
Its financial results show a record order book of £5.4 billion heading into 2019.
Turnover for 2018 was within 1 per cent of the previous year at £1.60 billion and the group's operating margin increased to 2.4 per cent.
The group made significant new investments in its residential developments businesses (£55.6 million) and its commercial property portfolio (£10.0 million) and increased the contributions it made to its defined benefit pension scheme.
It maintained a strong cash position during the year, finishing 2018 with £114.2 million receiving a significant endorsement from its existing banks and from a new bank. Consequently, these banks have committed to a bigger and extended £120 million facility.
There was reduction in construction turnover, but performance across the group's other key sectors of residential development (which grew by 11 per cent) and property services (up 8 per cent) improved on the back of key contract wins in regeneration and social housing.
More than 500,000 homes were maintained in the social housing sector, with facilities managed at more than 350 commercial properties, and 177 management trainees and apprentices were employed during 2018.