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Mouchel to recruit 600 engineers as orders hit record high

Mouchel has reported a record order book worth £2bn and plans to recruit 600 engineers over the next year.

The firm reported a pre-tax profit of £20.8m in the year to 30 September 2013 on revenues of £555m.

The business in its current form was set up in August 2012 by a management team led by chief executive Grant Rumbles and the lenders of Mouchel Group plc – Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and RBS.

They bought the firm in a pre-pack administration and sale after KPMG briefly took control of the company last year, meaning the 2013 results cannot be directly compared with the 2012 accounts.

Mouchel said the firm’s financial performance was “ahead of the board’s expectations”. It also reduced its costs by £21m, ahead of its £18m target, by reducing overheads associated with its property portfolio.

The company recorded £1bn of contract wins in the year to 30 September, while its order book stood at £1.7bn and has now risen to £2bn.

Mouchel plans to recruit 600 engineers to its Infrastructure Services business in 2014, including apprentices, technicians and graduates.

Mr Rumbles described 2013 as “a year of transformation for Mouchel”.

In February, it bought the remaining 50 per cent of its joint venture, EnterpriseMouchel. Operational restructuring that began in early 2012 was completed at the end of March 2013 at a cost of £10.7m in the year to 30 September 2013.

EnterpriseMouchel had a £210m turnover in the 2012 financial year and recorded a 30 per cent rise in operating profit to £11.2m.

In June, EnterpriseMouchel beat A-ONE + (Colas/Halcrow/Costain JV), Amey Highways and Carillion to the lucrative £700m Area 3 Asset Support Contract with the Highways Agency.

Mr Rumbles added: “We over-achieved on all of our targets in our business plan.

“All of this demonstrates our long-held view that with the right debt structure, cost base and leadership team, Mouchel is a profitable company with a strong and sustainable future.

“We have created an excellent platform for further progress, with scope for significant turnover and margin growth, and look forward to the next year with confidence,” he added.

Recent contract wins

  • £20m seven-year contract for highways-related services with Norfolk County Council
  • £700m five-year contract to operate and maintain the motorway and trunk roads in Area 3 in southern England for the Highways Agency
  • £125m five-year contract in TranServ joint venture for the management and maintenance for the south-west region of the Scottish Trunk Roads network for Transport Scotland
  • £50m three-year contract extension for business and ancillary services with the Unity Partnership joint venture with Oldham Council

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