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Graham swells WSP profits

STRONG PROFIT growth from civil engineering consultant Graham Group helped boost results reported by its multi-disciplinary parent WSP, according to figures published this week.

When WSP bought Graham a year ago the consultant was struggling in the face of a declining roads workload and producing profit margins of just 1% (NCE 13 March 1997).

Since the takeover it has boosted Grahams margins to 4% by repositioning the firm as an environmental and roads maintenance consultant. As a result, Graham increased operating profits from 297,000 to 795,000 despite turnover increasing from 20M to 17M.

WSP, whose activities also include structural engineering and facilities management, increased pretax profits to 2.1M from 1.5M. Turnover was 32.7M compared with 28.2M. Finance director Malcolm Paul said the group was looking for more civils acquisitions in Britain. He said the company wanted to even out the balance of workload between civils and building work.

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