Contractor’s chairman and chief executive use latest results announcement to put firms on notice about more legal action to recoup money

Willmott Dixon has again used its annual results announcement to lay into firms it accuses of avoiding responsibility for footing the bill on legacy cladding repair work which it says will cost it £62m in total.

One job, a £250m mixed-use scheme in south-east London called Woolwich Central, is costing the firm £44m alone to fix with the contractor beginning action earlier this year against five companies it claims are responsible for problems with the external wall system on the project.

The scheme consists of an 84,000 sq ft Tesco superstore and seven residential tower blocks, covering more than 250 flats, the largest of which is nine storeys. It was completed at the start of 2014.


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The Woolwich Central scheme was completed in 2014. Willmott Dixon said it will cost £44m to fix faulty cladding

Chairman Colin Enticknap used his statement in the firm’s latest report and accounts covering the year to December 2022, which have now been filed at Companies House, to say it was “expecting to recover a substantial proportion of that [£62m] figure”.

He said the firm has set up a dedicated team to recoup what it thinks it is owed on the Tesco job as well as those other schemes which also need remedial work carrying out.

“We have a very capable team focused exclusively upon doing just that [recouping money] with a number of legal actions already running and being planned. Whilst court and adjudications proceedings are invariably more complicated and protracted than we would like, our patient determination is expected to eventually bear fruit.”

Chief executive Rick Willmott added: “Our own results for 2022 were impacted by further provisions we have made to address the implications of responding to the Building Safety Act. The aggregate provision for these legacy issues stands at a very material £62m and we naturally expect to recover a substantial portion of this from designers, fire engineers, supply chain and insurers who, so far, have not faced up to their responsibilities or obligations across those ‘in scope’ projects.”

Willmott Dixon said it made a provision of £7.5m last year on the Woolwich Central scheme which sent the firm nosediving to an £8.7m pre-tax loss from an £11m profit last time. Turnover in 2022 was flat at £1.1bn.

Its biggest business, construction, edged revenue £140,000 past the £1bn mark but turnover from its interiors arm was down 15% to £133m.

It said cash in hand and at the bank was up £2m to £115m.