Support services group raises profit to £118.1m and commits to long-term presence in Iraq.

Amec has announced that it is committed to working in Iraq and is looking at further opportunities in the region. The group said that its joint venture Amec Fluor currently held contracts worth around £380m and said that the final value could be much higher.

Amec said that conditions remained volatile in Iraq but it expected the market to make a bigger towards profits in 2005. Amec also received direct orders totalling £68m in Iraq.

Amec also announced that 2004 preliminary pre-tax profit had increased 5% to £118.8m, which was above market expectations. Turnover was stable, rising 2.2% to £4.816bn, while dividends per share rose 0.5p to 11p.

Amec said that growth was boosted by recent contract wins in its PPP business, and improved margins in its oil and gas division, which accounted for one third of group profit.

Chief executive Sir Peter Mason said: “These results really confirm the ability of our company to deliver. Having invested cautiously, cut costs and taken a lot of risk out of the business, we can look forward to reaping the benefit.”

The group said it was poised to take advantage of the government’s restructuring of the nuclear industry. It said that it had the expertise to pursue the £2bn of work the government estimates will be available on an annual basis.