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Hyder profits up as turnover falls

Growth overseas delivers strong set of results for the debt free consultancy firm Hyder Consulting.

The consultant continued its strong performance with an increase in profits during the first six months of its financial year, covering the period from April to the end of September.

While turnover fell to £149.9 million, from £156.3m last year, profits increased to £9.5m - a 66 per cent increase on the £5.7m it made last year.

The strong profits performance has also enabled Hyder to pay off its debt and it now has net cash in the bank of £5.3m, leaving the firm in a solid position in a market where both clients and investors are seeking cash rich companies.

Hyder chief executive Ivor Catto said: “85 per cent of our operating profits are from overseas and across four attractive market sectors providing Hyder with both resilience and new opportunities. Whilst conscious of the economic conditions, we believe that the actions we have taken,
together with our net cash position, headroom and £325m order book, put us in a good position to grow.”

Increasing overseas exposure has been part of Hyder’s strategy of targeting growth markets, which have been resilient to budget cuts.

Hyder’s Australian business has been performing well and profits in the region have also been boosted by the effects of exchange rate changes. Operating profit in the region was up 41 per cent to £9.6m, compared to £6.8m a year earlier.

The firm’s businesses in the UK and Middle East have been downsized during the last six months, with around 300 job losses. Staff levels are now at around 3,900 worldwide but the reduction in headcount reduced profits by £1.8m as redundancy payments were expensed.

Looking to the next financial year, Hyder has secured 60 per cent of its forecast revenue.

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