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WSP owed £15m by Dubai

Shard engineer WSP Group today said it expected its profit for the year to 31 December 2009 to be in line with expectations - subject to further provisions arising from Dubai.

The consultant working on the Shard in London Bridge said the year “has proved to be challenging for the group in some very testing markets”.

WSP, which gets 5 per cent of its turnover from the Middle East, currently has £15 million of trade receivables and unbilled amounts due on contracts with clients in Dubai, after reflecting £8m of provisions made in 2008.

A statement said the outstanding amounts were being reassessed and that any further provisions considered necessary would be charged against 2009 profits and reported in the preliminary results on 1 March 2010.

The statement added: “In the meantime we continue to actively pursue our contractual entitlements to amounts due, accepting this could take some time.”

WSP said its strategy of sector and regional diversification had provided the group with some overall resilience to generally difficult market conditions.

The company said: “We are appropriately positioned and resourced to grow our market share and we have been encouraged by recent project wins.

“This strategy and positioning should ensure we will benefit strongly when economic and market conditions improve.”