WATES is on course to meet its target of completing nine out of 10 jobs for long-term clients in four years' time.
The firm wants to carry out 90 per cent of business under partnership and frameworks by 2010.
Chief executive Paul Drechsler said: 'Over 70 per cent of the value of work won in 2005 was from repeat customers, bringing us closer to our 2010 objective.' Mr Drechsler wants staff numbers to increase by 1,000 to 2,700 by 2010 as part of a growth plan to get turnover beyond the £1 billion mark.
Group pre-tax profit at the business tripled to £10.6 million last year on turnover that inched up 6 per cent to £670 million. The overall order book at the end of 2005 was a record £1.2 billion.
Wates' booming affordable housing business ? Wates Living Space ? helped drive the group along with pre-tax profits at the division rising by nearly a third to £9.1 million.
The firm's construction business enjoyed a successful year, with pre-tax profits barrelling up 88 per cent to £4.9 million.
Wates confirmed that An-drew Wates is to retire as chairman.