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Severfield-Rowen eyes overseas work

Steel firm Severfield-Rowen has said it will look to win contracts in the Middle East and Far East if the local market eases off further.

Chief executive Tom Haughey said the company had begun investigating the “massive opportunities” in countries such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Dubai in the oil and gas sectors as well as the conventional construction industry.

He said the company would consider the regions in 2010 if UK markets continue to slow down.

But the company said it was optimistic about the domestic market and is predicting it can meet its 2008 expectations even though parts of the Irish market are subdued.

The firm announced a glowing set of first-half results with pre-tax profits increasing 44 per cent to £21.6 million on revenue, which increased 25 per cent to hit £174 million.

On the UK market, Mr Haughey said: “My view is that there are some good activity levels and although it is not as buoyant, there are some very good opportunities.”

Severfield-Rowen’s order book stands at £431 million.

Mr Haughey said Severfield-Rowen had the “lion’s share” of work for the 2012 Olympics, having won the steel contract for the main stadium, the link bridge and the large Stratford shopping centre.

He added: “We’re discussing the press centre and we’re still pursuing other prospects like the velodrome.”

The other big opportunity in the UK market at the moment for steel contractors is the power and energy industry.

Mr Haughey said: “There is a prospect of quite a lot of projects in the coming years.

We’ve identified that the projects are worth around £300 million just for the steel contracting.”

He added: “We’re not including work on nuclear power stations – it’s too early for that.”

Severfield-Rowen has already picked up the steel contract for RWE npower’s power station at Staythorpe in Nottinghamshire but the company is looking at steel contracts for newly planned coal, oil and gas stations.