Chief operating officer aims to boost turnover by more than two-thirds and double staff numbers

Willmott Dixon Construction is about to set in motion an expansion plan that aims to push turnover to £500m and add 400 staff over the next four years.

John Frankiewicz, the chief operating officer and head of construction, intends to increase turnover by more than two-thirds to £500m, generating a pre-tax profit of about £15m.

He said: “This expansion fits with our strategy of sustainable growth. We try to limit the regional businesses to £100m turnover so there is the right balance of staff to clients.”

Willmott Dixon has four regional construction offices (in Birmingham, Cardiff, Cobham, Surrey and Hitchin, Hertfordshire) all of which are expected to reach an annual turnover of £100m by 2009.

The construction division will also open two offices. The first, in Brentwood, Essex, will be operational by the spring. John Lambe, the deputy managing director in Birmingham, will lead the office, supported by Jonathon Payne as deputy managing director and Graham Ward as operations director.

The second office, in Manchester, is to open in January 2009. Frankiewicz said he was still looking for someone to head it and internal and external candidates were in the running.

He said Manchester was an “obvious choice” for an office because of the firm’s framework agreements with Manchester and Cheshire councils.

Frankiewicz’s plans also include doubling the construction division’s staff. He wants to bring in 100 extra people a year over the next four years, which would take staff number to about 1,000.

Construction accounted for 70% of Willmott Dixon’s £420m turnover for the year ending 31 December 2005.