Engineering group’s Canada and Asia Pacific division prove to be “engine for strong growth” as UK trading remains “sluggish”

Keith Howells

Mott MacDonald posted solid growth in revenue and profit last year, as strong performances in the firm’s Canada and Asia Pacific businesses made up for “sluggish” trading in the UK.

According to latest set of accounts posted at Companies House, the employee-owned engineering group posted a 10% growth in revenue to £1.2bn for the year to 31 December 2013, up from £1.1bn the previous year, while pre-tax profit rose 7% to £60.3m, up from £56.2m.

The firm said its Canada and Asia Pacific divisions proved to be an “engine for strong growth in the business”, making up for “sluggish” trading conditions in the UK, Europe and the United States.

The firm said Mott MacDonald’s UK division grew and “continued to benefit from the government’s recognition of infrastructure as an engine of growth”.

The business does not provide a divisional or regional breakdown in its accounts.

Mott MacDonald chairman Keith Howells (pictured) noted the firm “improved penetration into two potentially significant growth markets, Brazil and South Africa” over the period, with the acquisitions of 600-strong South African consultant PD Naidoo & Associates and 80-strong Brazilian consultant Habtec, both last April.

Howells said: “Following integration, we expect to see strong organic growth in both locations”.

In a statement accompanying its accounts Mott MacDonald said profitability improved “across all regions” and Howells said: “In many parts of the world we are seeing signs of recovery”.

Howells said the Middle East showed “good early signs of recovery”, while New Zealand “had provided new opportunities for growth”.

However he added the firm was impacted by “significant deterioration” in the Indian and Brazilian economies and a “marked slowdown” in the Australian economy.

Mott MacDonald increased its headcount by 706 staff over the year, taking it to 14,051 staff.

At the close of 2013 the firm’s order book stood at £1.4bn.