In common with many of its competitors, construction giant Willmott Dixon has seen profits jump as it abandons cut-throat competitive tendering in favour of building partnerships with key clients. These include David Lloyd Leisure, Circle 33 housing associations and Hilton Hotels. Profits at the Letchworth-based company have increased 26% a year, from £2.1m in 1996 to £4.1m in 1999, when sales reached £245.1m. The company recently relocated its main operations from London’s Mayfair to Hertfordshire, upgrading its IT facilities at the same time. It is also taking managers from behind their desks and moving them on-site to ensure that problems are tackled quickly and at source. The company is responsible for building what is claimed to be Europe’s largest social housing project at Blackbird Leys in Oxford, a £30m two-year scheme.
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