Dutch engineer posts first full-year results post-EC Harris merger

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Arcadis’ profit fell by 14% in the financial year ended December 2011. This was an error – Arcadis’ profit fell by 14% in the fourth quarter only, but rose over the year as a whole by 3%. Building apologises for the error.

Dutch engineer Arcadis has posted a 3% rise in profit for the year ended 31 December 2011, in its first set of results since its merger with UK consultant EC Harris.

Turnover at the Amsterdam-listed giant grew just 1% to just over €2bn (£1.7bn), despite a 7% jump in gross revenue in the fourth quarter which was “mainly down” to the November acquisition of £253m-turnover EC Harris.

Pre-tax profit rose from €112m (£94.7m) in 2010 to €115.9m (£98m) in 2011.

Arcadis said its main growth areas in 2011 were the US environmental market, South America and Asia.

The firm said its operational margin was 9.7% during the period, just short of its target level of 10%.

But it added that the weaker dollar against the euro had a negative effect on revenue and profit by up to 3%.

Arcadis announced last month that its chief executive and chairman Harrie Noy (pictured) will step down in May after 37 years at the firm, to be replaced by director Neil McArthur.

Noy said: “I am glad we were able to continue to increase revenue and profit. Our good geographical spread was key to this achievement. Especially in emerging markets such as Brazil, Chile and China and in the US environmental market we grew strongly.

“Although government work is declining, that is more than compensated for by work for private sector clients. These good results were achieved due to our consistent focus on activities higher in the value chain, successful acquisitions, strict cost controls and above all, the entrepreneurship and client focus of our staff.

“With EC Harris we got a leading position in project management and related services, which will allow us to capitalise even more on the growth opportunities in markets which are important to us.”

The firm also acquired US-based engineer Rise during the financial year, but sold Netherlands-based subsidiary Aqumen Facility Management.