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Willmott Dixon replaces profits after Inspace sale

FINANCE

WILLMOTT Dixon has replaced all the profit and turnover lost from the books when the group f loated off its Inspace fit-out division earlier this year.

The firm lifted pre-tax profits to £3.6 million on turnover of £187 million in the first half of this year, compared with £3.5 million on £186 million turnover in the same period a year ago.

Chief executive Rick Willmott said: 'We have backfilled the space left by Inspace's departure.' In the results for the first half of 2004, Inspace had contributed profits of £1.9 million and £48.8 million of turnover.

Schools work and social housing provided the bulk of the contracting workload.

The group's joint venture with housing associations, Widacre Homes, has developments under way in Birmingham and London with the latter worth more than £30 million.

Margins are slightly under 2 per cent but Mr Willmott is confident that this figure can be lifted by the year-end.

He said: 'Margins are competitive. Housing is better than construction but we're continuing to target a 2.5 per cent net margin. We hope to be at that level at the end of this year.'