Dutch firm Grontmij has posted a 17% fall in profits for the first six months of 2009, compared to the same period last year.
The firm’s revenue remained virtually flat, at £287.8M (€332M for the first six months of 2009, compared to £288.7M (€333M) in the same period last year.
According to Grontmij chief executive Sylvo Thijsen: “The first half of 2009 saw the recessionary effects in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Belgium impacting our margins and volumes in those countries, in particular in the private sector Building and Industry.
“Recognising the changing markets, we took rapid action to restructure and re-balance our resources by reducing our resources in the affected segments and increasing resources in our chosen profitable activities (transport, environment, water and energy). We increased our focus on operational performance through managing overhead, exiting unprofitable areas of the business and tightening of cash management,” he said.
However, the group has listed progress in the UK and Irish markets as areas of growth, listing:
- Consultancy framework win for proposed London Thames Tideway Tunnels.
- Architectural win for Blackpool town centre.
- Client engineer role for Griffin wind farm as part of the Scottish & Southern Energy / Airtricity framework agreement.
Nevertheless, revenue in the UK dropped from £46.4M (€53.5M) to £43.6M (€50.3M), and EBITS fell by almost half to £1.7M (€2M), with almost a quarter of those losses due to currency exchange differences.
“Actions are in hand to reduce and re-allocate surplus resources, reduce costs, and manage cash more tightly,” reads a company statement.
“Current market conditions, however, lead to increased uncertainty and unpredictability with respect to market growth and price setting. We are addressing this by monitoring our costs even more efficiently and increasing our focus on our client’s needs. Based on the forward order book and the current climate we expect that profit after tax for the second half of 2009 will equal profit after tax of the first half year 2009.”