Turnover and profit continue to grow as contractor concentrates on expanding building division.
Fitzpatrick's decision to invest in its Building division has continued to pay off with the fourth consecutive year of record returns.

The contractor's pre-tax profit increased from £6m to £6.2m for the year to 31 December and turnover jumped 33% from £151m to £200m.

Six years ago, the main focus of the business was civil engineering but finance director Derek Waller said the group had put the lion's share of resources into its building division since then.

Turnover is now split almost evenly between civil engineering and building. Fitzpatrick has a smaller facilities management and property development arm.

Waller said: "We're achieving continual, sustainable, profitable growth. Expansion has been controlled and this year turnover will be £250m and profitability will also grow."

Waller said Fitzpatrick, which works mostly in the South-east, was looking to the north for work. The building division has opened an office in Birmingham, which is expected to have a turnover of about £15m.

The firm has other bases in Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Kent and London. The contractor recently completed a hospital in Kazakhstan, which added more than £20m to its turnover.

We’re achieving sustainable, profitable growth: this year turnover will be £250m Derek Waller, finance director

Fitzpatrick expects to open an office in Southampton. This will be the base for work the firm has already won in the South, including a £21m train maintenance facility for Siemens.

Staff numbers rose from 497 in 2000 to 888 last year, increasing staff costs from £18.8m to £26.2m.

In February, Building reported that Fitzpatrick executives had travelled to South Africa to look for recruits to solve its skills shortages.

Waller said the first staff hired from the recruitment drive had started with the group. These were mainly civil engineers, quantity surveyors and project managers.

Late last month Fitzpatrick came 38th in The Sunday Times' Profit Track 100, which ranks the UK's most profitable privately owned companies.