Engineer says market stable but re-sizes UK and Australian businesses

Engineer WSP has said it will write off £7.5m in restructuring costs in the UK and Australia as it continues to re-size its business for the current market.

In a trading update today, the firm said it had nevertheless won £60m of work in Qatar and Australia despite the “challenging” trading environment.

The firm said it will report a £4m charge for restructuring its environmental and energy business in Australia. It said the money was “substantially non-cash.” In addition it said it had spent £3.5m in restructuring its UK business that was “likely to stay subdued with ongoing constraints on public sector spending, and a private sector where confidence and financing remain under pressure.”

This is in addition to the £5.1m it has previously written off related to projects in Libya hit by the revolution and uprising there.

Overall the firm said the group’s order book had “remained stable.” A £22m mining contract in Australia, in joint venture with TWP, is its first major mining win since repositioning the business away from the property and retail sectors.

WSP also announced it has secured a new £152.5m finance facility, expiring in December 2015, with exactly the same covenants as it’s existing £150m finance facility, which had been due to expire in 2013.