Half year profit jumps to £8m following acquisitions as consultant boasts record order book

Acquisitions helped consultant Scott Wilson to a 120% rise in interim pre-tax profit.

Profit before tax jumped to £8m for the six months to 29 October 2006 up from £3.6m the previous year. Underlying operating profit increased 31% to £7.1m from £4.9m despite losses and restructuring costs of £0.8m linked with its businesses in southern Africa. Turnover also increased, up 22.8% to £113.2m.

During the six months the consultant, which operates in the transportation, property and environmental sectors, made two acquisitions. It bought a 30% stake in UK consultant Scott Wilson Pavement Engineering and Roscoe Postle Associates in Canada.

Geoff French, chairman of Scott Wilson said: “The strength of our markets combined with our record order book allows us to look forward to the future with confidence.

"We now expect results for this financial year to exceed current market expectations. Our recent acquisitions have broadened the group's presence in strategically key market sectors in line with our stated strategy."