Engineering consultant blames subdued activity in commercial market for 7% dip in revenue in third quarter

Engineering and environmental consultants Waterman Group has said it expects end of year profits to be at the lower end of expectations following a dip in revenue for the third quarter of the financial year.

In an interim management statement released today for the period from 1 January 2010 to date it says activity in the commercial property sector has continued to remain subdued resulting in a drop in revenue in the third quarter of the financial year of 7% compared to the first half.

The company says new work has continued to be won both in the UK and overseas during the last three months. However, margins have remained very competitive and this situation is expected to continue into the foreseeable future.

The firm says rationalisation of its office accommodation to consolidate operations into a fewer number of regional locations in the UK is progressing well and will continue through 2010.

The UK public sector provides a third of the group's fee income with its main markets in highways, education, healthcare and rail.

The firm says following the general election, the government's spending cuts have yet to be publicised and it remains focused on the opportunities which may materialise for outsourcing business and the possibility that there may be a reduction in design consultancy commissions.