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Scott Wilson profit falls to £9.4m

Pre-tax profits at consultant Scott Wilson fell to £9 million in the 53 weeks to 3 May 2009 despite a rise in turnover the firm announced today.

Turnover edged up to £360 million from £324.2 million the previous year as pre-tax profits halved to £9.4 million from £19.7 million last time.

Adjusted operating profit – accounting for costs such as redundancy payments and retention bonuses arising from acquisitions – remained static at £22.6 million.

However, Scott Wilson has a fuller order book this year than 12 months ago with £291 million of work in the pipeline, compared with £280 million in 2008.

The firm had 6,406 members of staff at the end of April 2009, which it said was “broadly similar” to its headcount a year before.

It does not predict growth in the UK business over the next 12 months, but sees “significant opportunities for growth in our international markets”.

Scott Wilson chairman Geoff French said: “The second half of the year has seen a challenging trading environment for Scott Wilson as the deterioration in the global economy has reduced demand in some sectors.

“While we have downsized our business to match capacity, one-off redundancy costs have impacted our full-year performance. However, demand for infrastructure services around the world remains robust, especially in growth regions such as China and India where Scott Wilson has a strong reputation and presence.

“We are confident that this geographic diversity, combined with our technical and industry credentials, our strong order book and our financial strengths, leaves us well placed to continue to respond effectively to market developments.”