Consultant blames ’challenging trading conditions’ as profit drops to £18.3m

WSP has reported a 3.2% drop in profits in its half year results up to 30 June.

The group’s profit fell from £18.9m to £18.3m while revenue reduced to £354.4m from £376.9m for the first half of 2009. 

According to the firm the first half of the year has seen the continuation of challenging trading conditions, however strong performance of its Northern European business has helped to offset weakness in other markets.

Transport and infrastructure, which had a strong performance in the first half of 2009, saw revenue fall by 8.3% to £109.0m and operating profits declined to £5.8m, with the UKparticularly affected.

The environment and energy business has also had a challenging first half across all regions with revenues falling by 9.5%.

The firm’s property division generated revenues of £158.1m a decrease of 11% from 2009, however operating profits improved to £7.8m in 2010 from £5.8m in 2009.

Chris Cole, chief executive, said: “We are pleased to have achieved this steady performance, in a market which continues to show ongoing uncertainty. Our diversified business across our regional markets has provided, and will continue to provide, trading resilience in the face of these market uncertainties.

“We have demonstrated our focus and ability to manage the challenges presented by current economic conditions and we continue to have confidence that WSP will trade resiliently and emerge an even stronger group as markets improve.”

The company says its order book remains strong, standing at £945m in June 2010, compared to £960m for December 2009.

Last week WSP announced that it was to lay off 50 workers in the UK following lower levels of public sector spending.

The company made 1,000 employees, around 10% of its global workforce, redundant in the year leading up to July 2009, mostly in the UK and Middle East.