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Homes focus boosts William Davis'profits

FINANCE

MIDLANDS-based construction group William Davis focused on house building ahead of contracting last year as house prices in the region surged.

In the year to May 2004 turnover at the firm rose £16.8 million to £92.1 million, with pre-tax profits ahead £955,000 at £5.4 million.

Finance director Tony Lorimer said: 'Historically it has always been 50-50 but that has changed with house prices going up.

We haven't seen the 30 per cent rises some talk about but they have gone up.'

The housing boom also created some problems for William Davis, whose contracting arm builds small-scale industrial parks, student accommodation and social housing.

Mr Lorimer added: 'Wages seem to have shot up because of the boom in house building.'

The firm's workforce edged up five per cent to 432 people but the wage bill rocketed 14 per cent to £13.3 million.