Consultant engineer reports 66% jump in profit after revealing more job losses

Hyder has seen its pre-tax profit rocket by more than two thirds, according to results released this morning for the six months to 30 September.

The engineering consultancy made £9.5m in the previous half year, compared to £5.7m in the same six months in 2009.

But it also removed 7% of its workforce, and suffered a slight dip in revenues from £156.3m to £149.9m.

The company now employs around 3,900, a cut of around 275 staff.

Revenues from the UK and Germany held broadly steady, but a dramatic fall in Middle Eastern work was compensated for by growth in Australia.

Revenue in the UK was down from £46.7m to £44.2m, and Germany – the only other European country Hyder operates in – fell from £13.9m to £11.4m.

Turnover in the Middle East collapsed by 69%, falling to just £35m.

In revealing the extent of the fall Hyder said: “Project awards and contract settlements have been slower to come to fruition than anticipated during the early part of this year”.

Australian revenue grew from £36m to £47.6m, which the firm put down to performance bonuses for completed projects, new work in the utilities sector, and favourable exchange rates.

80.4% of the group’s operating profit came from outside the UK, compared to 82.9% in 2009.

Redundancies were made mainly in the UK and Middle East , and redundancy costs grew by £200,000 to £1.8m for the half year.

Ivor Catto, chief executive, said: “While conscious of the economic conditions, we believe that the actions we have taken, together with our net cash position, headroom and £325 million order book, put us in a good position to grow.”