Consultant blames the Arab Spring and euro zone crisis for creating challenging market conditions

Consultant Cyril Sweett has fallen into the red, posting a loss of £100,000 for the six months to the end of September 2011.

Over the same period last year the consultant made a profit of £1.5m.

It blamed European investor uncertainty driven by the euro zone crisis and disruption caused by political uprisings in the Middle East for the loss in profits.

However, revenue increased in the first half of 2011-12 to £36.1m, up from £35m over the period in 2010-11 and the firm’s forward order book has increased by £7m.

Chief executive Dean Webster said:  “Whilst our markets remain fiercely competitive, improved trading in our core services, combined with opportunities to recycle some of our public-private partnership (PPP) investments, means we remain on track to deliver on our current expectations for the full year.”

Webster said diversification was important for the firms continued growth, with 50% of its forward order book now outside the UK. “We want to acess the South American market. The UK market would then represent about 25% of our business,” he said.

“The area we have been investing in a trying to build in the UK is the energy sector and we will continue to do that with a view to increasing market share,” said Webster.

Webster said that clients valued Cyril Sweett’s independence and that he was pleased they had avoided a take-over or merger in the challenging economic climate.

He added that the firm anticipated meeting its financial targets for the year.

The consultant is currently undergoing a restructure programme, which it said would result in £2m of cost savings next year.