Services group plans to review cost base as workload shifts further into the public sector

Building and support services group Interserve has said it may make jobs cuts in its private sector divisions due to weak trading.

In a trading update this morning, the company described business as “encouraging” in the public sector but said it would “review closely the appropriate size of the cost base” in some private sector parts of the business.

As a result of the downturn, public sector work grew from 65% of turnover to 75% over the first six months of 2009.

On the overall picture, Interserve said: “Given the record future workload, balanced and complementary operations in long-term growth markets and the ability to explore and develop new markets, the board remains confident in the group's ability to maintain robust near-term performance and sustained long-term growth.”

Overseas, it picked up £200m-worth of work in the Middle East over the period and said its construction and equipment services businesses were performing strongly.

The company also announced a £250m contract win in the water sector, as part of the KMI Plus joint venture with United Utilities.