Engineering consultant also reorganises business around four skill areas

WYG has boosted its presence in South Africa, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of its plan to internationalize the company.

The move is one part of a three-point strategy introduced by chief executive Paul Hamer to turn the business around after it was forced into a refinancing deal with its lenders last year.
It will set up separate subsidiary companies in South Africa and Croatia and has opened an office in Bosnia and Herzegovina capital Sarajevo.

Chief executive Paul Hamer said: “As we continue to move forward, we remain committed to creating a fit for purpose business that is strong, sustainable and better positioned to compete more effectively in our chosen markets and countries.”

He added that the group would start looking to expand further overseas in two to three years. He said: “By 2012-13 we’ll have created a very sustainable base from which to acquire. It’ll be more about enhancing our global capabilities. It’s going to be technically driven rather than revenue.”

It currently operates in 40 countries and said it is growing its overseas turnover by about 20% per year. In June last year its overseas percentage contribution to group turnover was described as in the “low twenties”.

In a separate move, the group has also reorganized the business around four divisions: buildings and critical infrastructure; transport solutions; energy and sustainability; and risk and assurance services. Full details are expected in the autumn.

Hamer said: “It allows us to marshal our resources and move them to where we need. It is to induce collaboration.”

Prior to the shake-up, teams had often operated only in one region rather than across the whole group, Hamer said.
“Ireland and international didn’t use the capabilities and resources across the group.”

Last month WYG sold its rail arm to Amey after it was identified as a non core asset. It followed a statement by Hamer in January that up to 25% of WYG’s operations would be”looked at closely in the mirror” as part of a strategic review.

The review follows a turbulent 2009 that saw Hamer inherit a company that gone on a £85m debt-driven spending spree over five years in 18 countries.