Hyder restructure

International engineering consultancy, Hyder, has reported a 22 per cent increase in orders, but said restructuring costs had dented profits for the 2009 financial year.

The group reported an increase in revenue of 37 per cent to £319m compared with £233.7m in the previous year, and adjusted profit before tax was up by eight per cent to £15.6m.

However, in the second half of the year difficult market conditions caused restructuring costs of £8.6m with an eight per cent reduction in workforce leading to £9.1m in exceptional costs for the full year. As a result, operating profit after exceptional items and amortisation was at £5m compared with £13.4m in 2008.

In the UK, the group’s transportation business performed strongly with significant contract wins with the North London Line, Crossrail and Transport for London. Hyder has also been appointed by Severn Trent Water on its AMP5 programme as well as for a number of London 2012 Olympics projects.

Boosted by this performance, profit before exceptional costs and acquisition intangibles rose by eight per cent to £15.6m, up from £14.4m in the previous year. The company hopes to increase this margin in 2010 by continuing restructuring efforts, which it estimates will result in annualised cost savings of £19m.

Chairman, Sir Alan Thomas, said: ‘I am pleased to report another strong year for the group with results ahead of last year and of market expectations. Our leaner structure and low gearing, together with our geographic and market spread, equip us well to manage the challenges and to take advantage of the opportunities that will arise.’

Looking ahead, Thomas insisted that ongoing restructuring efforts would not adversely effect the company’s skills base: ‘We currently employ approximately 4,700 people across our regions, around 4,500 on a full-time equivalent basis, which is lower than the half-year as a consequence of the restructuring. The retention and development of staff remains a key priority and we are continuing targeted recruitment at graduate level and for specific project opportunities.

‘We want our people to benefit from the best career opportunities and fill vacancies by internal promotions wherever possible. We actively encourage staff to gain experience in different regions and there was a 15 per cent increase in regional staff transfers during the year.’