Chief executive says fall in pre-tax profit compared to this time last year is due to 'downturn in the economy'

Engineering and environmental consultants Waterman Group has announced pre-tax profits of £0.5m on a turnover of £42.9m for the six months to 31 December 2009.

This compares with a £3.1m profit for the same time last year.

Nick Taylor, chief executive, said the firm has continued to experience a very challenging market conditions.

He said: “The property sector which historically provides over 75% of the group's turnover has remained depressed by the downturn in the economy. Trading conditions have been flat during the last six months albeit at a consistent monthly level."

Trading conditions have been flat during the last six months

Nick Taylor

The groups net debt has been reduced by £2.5m (25%) to £7.7m since June 2009."

Looking forward, during the coming 12 months Taylor said trading conditions are expected to remain difficult and any improvements will be dependent on the speed of recovery of property markets and investment opportunities.

“One third of Waterman's revenue comes from overseas projects and the company is well placed with a first class range of clients. I am confident that when the property sector starts to recover, then we will see a return to growth."