Wates specialises in construction and refurbishment projects covering everything from prisons to shopping malls and affordable homes to retail developments. New school buildings are a key area of growth. The Surrey-based company is still owned by the Wates family, who founded the business in 1897. Under Paul Drechsler, chairman and chief executive, the group reported sales of £904m in 2009, along with growth in profits for the second successive year.
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