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Mouchel posts £13.5m loss after Middle East and rail issues

Mouchel has reported a £13.5 million loss for the year ended 31 July 2009 and confirmed its withdrawal from the UK rail market.

Mouchel posted the loss for the year despite a 13 per cent increase in turnover to £740.6 million from £656.7 million the previous year.

Mouchel blamed missing out on Network Rail’s civil engineering framework for its withdrawal from rail contracting.

The firm’s losses were largely due to the rail withdrawal and a £15 million impairment charge to its Middle East business against fees earned which were never received.

Bosses said Mouchel’s contract win rate for the second half of the year had been restored to within a target range of one-in-three to two-in-five of opportunities tendered by value.

Mouchel chief executive Richard Cuthbert said: “This has been a difficult and disappointing year for Mouchel.

“In the second half we have had to deal with the substantial withdrawal from the rail market, together with the impact of the economic downturn on our Middle East and management consulting businesses.

“Looking to the future, the general economic outlook clearly remains challenging.

“The pressure on public spending brings uncertainty for all public services providers, but is also a source of huge opportunity for Mouchel as clients in all of our target markets strive to deliver better services more efficiently.

“Our focus on the transformation of essential services and the maintenance of vital infrastructure means that we will continue to benefit from sustained levels of public expenditure in our core markets and from the inevitable trend for increased outsourcing, signs of which we are already seeing. 

“These developments, together with the continued strength of our order book and bidding pipeline, and the fact that we have restored our tender win-rate to within our target range, mean that we remain confident about our long-term prospects.”