LEADING contractor Willmott Dixon has recorded strong financial results for 2019 despite the economic challenges of the last quarter. The company saw turnover and profit remain strong at £1.246 billion and £31.3 million, respectively.

These figures were bolstered through the significant levels of activity within the East Midlands, with Willmott Dixon delivering landmark developments including the Nottingham Science Park II development and the Winwood Heights extra-care facility within 2019. The contractor is also on-site with Nottinghamshire at the Orchard SEN school development, which will see the creation of a new facility that caters for up to 140 pupils with Special Educational Needs.

Nick Gibb, deputy managing director for the Midlands, said: “These results are a significant indication of the strength of the opportunities that exist for the right construction partner.  We have delivered – and are continuing to deliver – some truly ground-breaking projects across the Midlands, working alongside customers and our trusted supply chain and design partners.”  

Highlights so far in current financial year:

  • 90% of budgeted work secured for 2020 (at April 2020)
  • 5th in Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to work for awards, the best placed contractor
  • Carbon Neutral for the 7th year in succession
  • Carbon emissions intensity reduced by 5% between 2018 and 2019, down 61% from 2010 baseline
  • Diverted over 98% of non-hazardous construction waste from landfill
  • All sites and offices (where we are responsible for energy procurement) powered with 100% natural renewable electricity

Willmott Dixon’s group chief executive Rick Willmott says: “Our performance in 2019 has provided a good platform for our company to continue delivering projects for customers during the challenges created by Covid-19.

“It’s been a phenomenal team effort from our people as we have adjusted our business to maintain operations during Covid-19, one that has required a high level of resourcefulness.  Our people quickly embraced the changes required to adhere to the Construction Leadership Council’s Site Operating Procedures, with projects and processes reconfigured to provide a safe working environment for our people and supply chain partners, whose support has been brilliant over the past few months.

“Our sites have remained open throughout, using adaptations like one-way systems for circulation, GoPro technology to capture progress, motion-activated voiceover systems to remind people to abide by social distancing and staggered breaks and lunchtimes, with clear signage for social distancing in canteens.  We now expect all sites to remain open, although Covid-19 related safety measures and availability of materials will mean that output levels will be reduced compared to before the pandemic.  While this will inevitably impact upon pre-pandemic expectations in terms of timescales and budgets, I really appreciate how supportive our customers are being on this issue.”

Looking at other areas that stood out, Rick highlighted the company’s ongoing focus on leaving a legacy in communities. This saw Willmott Dixon meet its 2020 target to ‘enhance the life-chances of 10,000 young people’ 19 months early, with the value of people’s time, skills, donations and gifts-in-kind to support community-related causes valued at £1.9m in 2019.

This included providing 711 work experience opportunities and over 4,000 mock interviews, as well as mentoring over 2,223 people, with over 46,000 hours of people’s time invested in delivering community activities as volunteers.  The company also added to its network of Building Lives academies to upskill young people and ex-offenders with new facilities at Liverpool and HMP Elmley.

Rick concluded, “Willmott Dixon and the construction industry will have a huge role to play in generating future growth that will help our economy recover when we come out of the current situation. That includes the work we do in local communities to sustain jobs and create a catalyst for inward investment.”

* except three closed briefly at customers’ request

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