Consultant decides to go it alone after concluding its strategic review

Paul Hamer

WYG has decided to go it alone after shelving the idea of selling the business or seeking a merger partner.

The consultant revealed it had several takeover approaches from firms after entering a formal ‘offer period’ in January to explore options for the group. At the time WYG said options included a sale, merger or significant acquisition to give it critical mass to exploit market opportunities, but today the firm said it had decided to continue alone after concluding its review.

Chairman Mike McTighe said: “During the course of the board’s review, a number of high level expressions of potential interest were received from various parties, but none which appropriately valued the future prospects of the group or recognised the unique position of the group in its chosen markets.

“The review has therefore confirmed that an appropriately funded independent group represents the best route to optimising value for all stakeholders.”

In full-year results for the year to March 2015, WYG posted an 18% drop in pre-tax profit to £1.4m, down from £1.8m the previous year.

WYG attributed the reduced pre-tax profit to an increase in exceptional non-recurring costs, up 73% to £4.2m, up from £2.5m, which was mainly due to an exceptional £2.4m tax windfall in 2014 from sub-letting part of its London office.

Revenue grew by 3% to £130.5m, up from £126.9m. The group’s UK revenue was up 15% to £83.9m, which it said was driven by strong demand in the planning and infrastructure markets.

The order book increased 21% to £105m as at 31 March 2015, up from £86.8m the previous year.

WYG also announced with its results the £1.4m takeover of transport and infrastructure specialists FMW.

WYG chief executive Paul Hamer said the takeover as a “small acquisition but a quality one” and said it will allow them to stop having to outsource their transport consultancy.

He said: “We will continue to invest in building our transport consultancy team so we can capitalise on major infrastructure projects in the UK.”

Hamer added: “WYG remains well positioned for future growth with the benefit of a healthy order book and recent acquisitions combined with the opportunities presented by a buoyant UK market, a new EU funding cycle and the planned interventions by DfID and other funding institutions in fragile and conflict affected states.”