Wates publishes 2019 Annual Accounts and Reports
The Wates Group has reported increased turnover, profits and cash reserves for the year ending 31 December 2019.
14 APRIL 2020
Turnover increased to £1.63bn (up 2.1%), while profit before taxation was £36.2m (up 0.8%). The Group maintained strong cash balances throughout 2019, finishing the year with £142.2m, an increase of 25% on 2018. In extending its bank facilities to £120m, the business secured a significant endorsement and valuable backing from all three of its banks.
Key figures include:
- Turnover at £1.63bn, an increase of 2.1% (2018: £1.601bn)
- Profit before taxation up 0.8% to £36.2m (2018: £35.9m)
- £142.2m cash balance, up 25% on 2018
- Net assets up2% to £152.4m (2018: £135.8m)
- Significant endorsement secured during the year from an expanded group of banks, with a funding line increased from £87m to £120m
- Record order book of £5.9bn, up 9.2% (2018: £5.4bn)
- EBITDA of £48.8m, up 6% (2018: £48m)
2019 was a positive year for the Wates Group in a challenging market. Construction performed particularly well, with turnover of £922.7m, up 8.7% on 2018. Wates Construction started work on Parliament’s Northern Estate Programme, won the contract to build the Sandwell Aquatic Centre near Birmingham and became the only major contractor to achieve strategic supplier status with the Department for Education. Wates Construction also maintained its position as the leading builder of schools in the UK, with £600m of projects in development at the year end.
Other highlights from 2019 include:
- An industry-leading health and safety record – the Group’s Accident Incidence Rate was 79% below the construction industry average for 2018/19, with a Lost Time Injury Rate of 0.050
- Wates Residential Developments turnover was £230.3m and the business won national industry awards for its new residential developments in Cardiff and Erith Park. There are now 21,000 homes in the development pipeline
- Wates Property Services was created, forming a national business focused on housing maintenance and facilities management across the UK
- Property Services’ turnover, including its share of associates turnover, was £476.9m and the business secured key contract wins with both new and existing clients including HMRC, Marks & Spencer, BBC, Ministry of Justice, West Midlands Police, Wolverhampton Council and the London Borough of Camden
- More than 500,000 social homes were maintained across 60 housing associations and local authority customers
- 660 projects were undertaken by Wates Smartspace, including for the BBC, Ministry of Justice and GSK
- 82% occupancy rate across all seven premises in the Group’s managed workspace business Needspace
- 97.4% of waste was diverted from landfill, 5,000 trees were planted and 65% of the energy used across the Group came from renewable sources.
The Group also continued to contribute to Wates Giving, the charitable arm of the Wates Family Enterprise Trust. In 2019, this support amounted to £1.5m.
In 2019, the Wates Group decided to articulate its purpose, goals and behaviours in a new Guiding Framework. The Framework defines the motivating purpose of together we inspire better ways of creating the places, communities and businesses of tomorrow and the Group’s goals of being more trusted, sustainable and progressive. During the second half of the year the Guiding Framework began to be embedded throughout the business and Wates Group took a step towards its goal of being progressive, with the publication of some bold new targets for diversity and inclusion. The business began 2020 working towards its goal of being more sustainable by launching an ambitious five-year plan to reduce carbon and waste and to have a positive impact on nature.
David Allen, Chief Executive of Wates Group, commented:
The Wates Group’s financial performance in 2019 was excellent. We ended the year in a position of substantial financial strength, with significant cash reserves and the support of our banks.
Since then, the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted every aspect of our lives. Individuals, communities and businesses are all having to adapt to meet challenges that seemed unthinkable a few weeks ago. Wates has overcome many difficulties during our 123-year history and we will come through the difficulties created by Covid-19. We are doing everything we can to support our people, our customers and our suppliers, and to make sure we are as ready as we can be to push on to greater, more sustainable success once this crisis is over.