Amec profit rise

London-based engineering group, Amec, has forecast a strong year ahead after it reported a 66 per cent rise in annual profits for 2008.

The group announced significant growth in both its Natural Resources and Earth and Environment divisions driving total revenue for the year up by 11 per cent to £2,606.4m.

Adjusted profit before tax rose to £210.3m from £126.5m the previous year and dividends per share were up 15 per cent to 15.4p. The current order book stands at £3bn, with profit margins up from 5.1 per cent to 7.1 per cent.

Overall performance was strong across its core divisions with the company citing the benefits of its STEP Change cost-reduction programme and favourable currency movements as strengthening its average cash balances.

Chief executive Samir Brikho said: ‘2008 was another year of record performance, with our internal initiatives helping us to deliver excellent results ahead of our commitments. During the year, we were awarded a number of milestone contracts that have contributed to significant growth in our backlog.

‘We continue to view the future with measured confidence. We have a well diversified portfolio of clients and services, and expect to see increasing net benefits from Operational Excellence, our performance improvement programme. Our net cash position remains exceptionally strong and we continue to monitor opportunities for growth through selective acquisitions.’