A civil and structural engineering firm has been named as one of the most profitable in the country.

Paul Waite Associates was singled out by the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) as one of the best in the industry, ACE looked at firms all over the country and found that Paul Waite's net profit margin of 24.4 per cent, on a turnover of £817,000, was the highest of all the companies and 250 per cent greater than the average.

The Cross Hills-based company, which employs 14 people, specialises in complex structural and civil engineering for commercial.

Managing director Paul Waite said: "I am fairly commercially minded and run the company purely as a business.

"We invested £100,000 in a new system which has split the office up into teams, each of which has their own targets to work towards. Each of the teams operates autonomously, including managing its own budget for salaries and training and is measured by specific targets and gross profit.

"These are then monitored on a weekly basis."

Mr Waite also said that investment in IT systems was paying dividends in terms of profitability. Among the projects it has worked on of late are the creation of an additional office/call centre floor space of 28,000 sq ft at the DVLA's Swansea office and the design of 11 school sports halls as part of a government drive to encourage greater fitness among children.

Mr Waite said: "The results of the study reinforce our ethos that robust IT systems and recruiting and developing a top team are key to business success.

"Having our performance measured against our peers continues to be key to our growth as we progress our ambitious five-year plan, which sees us aiming to increase staff, quadruple turnover and return a net profit margin of at least 37 per cent."

The next stage of this plan would be to concentrate on the training staff in key areas of finance and commerce to make sure they are completely business minded for the future.

e-mail: mark.casci@bradford.newsquest.co.uk