It was set up by the two Wates brothers in 1897 to build houses, but the Wates Group has gone on to much bigger things, such as redeveloping the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace. Now run by a non-family member for the first time, its five divisions – ranging from an interiors outfitter to a construction contractor – recorded increased operating profits of £9m on sales of £505m in 2002, when it had 1,494 staff.

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Company details
Year2003
Rank60
CompanyWates
ActivityConstruction contractor
LocationSurrey
Sales £m*505
Profit £m*9
Year endDec 02
Principal shareholdersWates family (100%)
Staff4,457
Founded1897
Websitewww.wates.co.uk

If applicable:

* Supplied by company † Annualised figure