I was intrigued to read Andrew Gay's article on Mott MacDonald on 5 September. We agree with much of what he wrote.
However, his conclusion that our profitability is low and management needs to be more "ruthless" is flawed. He forgets that as a private company, wholly owned by our employees, we are more interested in rewarding our staff and shareholders – to retain the skills he praises us for – than showing a large profit in our statutory accounts. Our operating profit, before bonuses, results in a profit margin that is more than double the 2.7% quoted in the article.
With regard to long-term survival, we do in fact take on some construction and programme risk but remain unconvinced that the rewards are worthwhile. Last year we celebrated 100 years in transportation, and we are confident that our business model will ensure we are a major player for many years to come.