Engineering and environmental consultant Waterman has said it will be hit by up to £5.7m of bad debt in 2010

In a trading update last week it blamed poor payment in Ireland, Poland, Belgium and Romania for the one-off cost, which includes unused office costs for the remaining terms of its leases in those countries. Its share price fell 11% to 42p on the announcement.

There will also be redundancy costs after the company reduced staff by 73 to 1,216 in the six months to 30 June.

Despite the news, the consultant said it still intended to pay a dividend of 0.9p, taking the 2010 total to 1.8p per share.