Engineer's cash reserves double last year as UK remains its strongest market
Engineering consultant Arup has reported a 69% rise in full-year profit and said it is in a “strong position” to weather the economic storm ahead.
The group posted profit before tax and profit share of £81m for the year to 31 March, up from £48m in 2007. Turnover for the period was £726m, up from £572m last year – a rise of 27%.
Arup said it has cash reserves of more than £100m, up 54% on last year, and its profit margin is 11%.
But chairman Terry Hill said there are “signs of weakness” in some of the firm's markets and it has seen “slow-downs, occasional project cancellations and a small increase in the working capital cycle”. In the US, turnover fell 20% to £61m, down from £76m in 2007.
The UK remained the strongest region, making £343m, compared with £275m last year, and accounting for almost 50% of the firm's turnover.
Our reserves are substantial, we have no borrowings, and the fact that we are privately owned means that we have no share price issues to distract us
David Whittleton, commercial director
The second strongest regional market for the firm was East Asia, where turnover was £109m, up 24% from £88m in 2007.
Turnover in Africa and the Middle East, which was included in the results for Europe last year, was £33m. In mainland Europe, the figure was £81m, up 27% from £64m in 2007.
Group commercial director David Whittleton said: “Our reserves are substantial, we have no borrowings, and the fact that we are privately owned means that we have no share price issues to distract us from our focus on delivering high-quality services and securing work for the long-term sustainability of the firm.
“Consequently, as we enter a more challenging economic period we are in a strong position not only to weather the storm but to continue our strategy of organic growth.”