WSP made a record interim pre-tax profit of £3m for the six months to 30 June 1999, 34% higher than in the same period last year. Turnover was up 24% to £46.5m.
Managing director Chris Cole said further growth would come through acquisitions and increased sales to big clients.
The building engineering arm raised pre-tax profit 30% to £2.3m on turnover up 17% to £25.1m. Margins were static at 8.8%. The civil engineering arm raised profit 27% to £525 000 on a turnover increase of 16% to £13.1m. Margins rose from 3.3% to 4.5%. But the specialist services arm’s profit dropped 43% on turnover down 4% to £4.5m because of disposals. Margins fell from 5.7% to 5%.
The group’s order book stood at £125m, up from about £100m last year – WSP said 80% of this came from repeat business.
Cole said market conditions were sound: “I see no real sign of the market running into problems because there is still very little speculative development. People are still building in decent locations and the expected forecast in the retail market has been offset by the large number of urban regeneration projects.”
Cole plans further international expansion and said he wants international businesses eventually to make up a quarter of group turnover.