Consultant’s Asia Pacific and Middle East divisions drag down results, as Europe and UK perform well

Douglas McCormick

Sweett Group has slumped to a £1.1m pre-tax loss in results for the year to March 2015.

The loss compared to a £2.8m pre-tax profit the previous year. Revenue dipped marginally to £88.3m, down from £89.4m.

The results were dragged down by losses in Sweett’s Asia Pacific and Middle East and North Africa businesses, which posted operating losses of £1.1m and £1.7m respectively. Meanwhile, Sweett’s European business, including the UK, posted an operating profit of £5.7m.

Sweett said its Asia Pacific business would have posted a £1.1m operating profit for the year, had it not incurred a £1.9m goodwill writedown on the value of its Australia business.

Sweett said £1.7m of exceptional administrative costs incurred during the year also contributed to its overall loss. Sweett said this figure related mainly to the cost of investigating historic bribery allegations related to its Middle East division, originally made by the Wall Street Journal in 2013, which led to an ongoing Serious Fraud Office investigation.

Chief executive Douglas McCormick (pictured) - who took the helm at Sweett in March - said the planned sale of the firm’s Asia Pacific business would enable it to “invest further” in its better-performing UK, European and North American businesses.

McCormick said the sale process for the Asia Pacific business was “progressing well”.

McCormick added: “The strategic review, which completed in April 2015, concluded that we have solid UK and European businesses which generate cash, with positive working capital dynamics, strong market positions and these geographies will be central to our growth going forward.

“Trading in the UK and Europe, the central pillars to our ongoing strategy is positive and we continue to build on our strong position with a number of high profile contracts recently won.”

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