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Utilities buoy Hyder in face of cuts

The utilities sector is providing one of the few bright spots in the UK amid major government cuts, according to Hyder Consulting.

In a brief pre-close trading update released this morning the company said it was benefiting from its existing framework agreements while remaining cautious about the precipitous global economic outlook.

The statement said:  “Despite the UK government’s constraints on capital spending, we have won new highways projects that have been recently released under our framework contracts.

“The UK’s utilities division and Germany’s property division continue to improve. Integration of the recent ESR acquisition is going well and in Germany the Ingenieur Consult acquisition is ahead of plan.”

The consultant employs around 4,000 staff in Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Germany and the UK.

Interim results for the six months ending 30 September are expected on 23 November.

According to today’s update the company “remains in sound financial position with a net cash balance”.

Chairman Sir Alan Thomas said:  “Though the general economic conditions give us cause for caution, we are benefiting from the resilience of our broad geographic and market sector spread.  

“We are performing well across the regions and our pipeline of work and opportunities gives us confidence for the full year.”

Elsewhere in the world the group said it had been boosted by new contracts released in the wake of the Queensland flooding.

It said prospects in Chine are “promising” and confirmed plans to increase its operation there.

In the Middle East the UAE is flat but opportunities were emerging in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, it said.

Collections in the region remain slow.

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