David McLean’s construction business began with the building of a public toilet in Flint, north Wales, in 1972. The company is still based in Flint but, with a turnover of £104m by 1998, it has become one of the UK’s largest private builders, undertaking development and management contracts throughout north Wales and north-west England. With profits up 38% pa, from £2.1m in 1995 to £5.4m in 1998, the company attributes its success to squeezing costs, cutting land purchases in troubled times, and developing non-confrontational, partnering relationships with clients. McLean currently builds around 400 houses per year. It has also entered into a partnering agreement with Shell, worth £45m, to refurbish their petrol stations.
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