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Cuthbert says Mouchel Parkman is 'ready to buy'

MOUCHEL PARKMAN is gearing up to acquire a maintenance contractor over the next few months as part of its ambitious growth strategy, chief executive Richard Cuthbert said this week.

fiWe are looking to buy. The market thinks our acquisition strategy should mirror our bidding strategy, fl Cuthbert said.

fiWe have been bidding a lot in joint venture for maintenance work with Accord and Amey, and for bundled services with IT providers. fiWe are interested in deals with companies of that sort. fl Cuthbert signalled his intentions as he announced the company's interim results for the six months to the end of January 2007. A deal over funding of £100M plus for acquisitions is imminent, Cuthbert said.

The - m reported an 18% increase in revenue to £206.4M and a 17% rise in pre-tax pro-t to £14.3M. Margins for the half year were maintained at 6.9%.

The forward book stands at £1.35bn and the business has set itself a target to grow to £1.2bn turnover by 2012. Last full year turnover was £374M.

Cuthbert also announced that the -rm's pension de- cit - last year reported at £67.7M - was being recalculated and negotiations were going on with staff to work out how to reduce it.

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