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More job cuts at WSP as new chairman takes over

Consultant WSP has announced plans for further jobs cuts as the private sector recovery fails to replace the group’s rapidly shrinking public sector portfolio.

In a trading update ahead of its half year results on 25 July, WSP said:  “We continue to see a tightening in the trading environment in the UK public sector, particularly transportation, which accounts for a significant proportion of our activities in this area. 

“Whilst we are seeing a gradual improvement in the UK private sector this will not compensate for the significant decline in the public sector which will impact on our financial performance in the second half. 

“We will therefore be taking further restructuring action in the UK over and above that previously anticipated.  As a consequence of the trading conditions in the UK public sector we now expect the Group results in 2011 to be below those achieved last year after incurring expected restructuring costs of around £4 million.”

WSP also announced plans to appoint Ian Barlow as chairman of the board with effect from 1 September 2011.

He succeeds David Turner who has previously announced plans to step down from the board.

Mr Barlow is a director of the London Development Agency and a non-executive director of Candy & Candy.

Previously he was a Senior Partner at KPMG in London. 

The group has made an expectional provision of around £5m in its interim results to deal with the ongoing Libyan conflict.

It said it continued to pursue payment from Libyan clients.

Group bank debt at 30 June will be higher than the £59m reported at the December year-end.

But WSP said it remains “well financed” with a £150m committed credit line through to 2013.

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