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Hugh Blackwood becomes sole chief executive of Scott Wilson

Scott Wilson has announced that Hugh Blackwood, currently joint chief executive, will become group chief executive with effect from 1 May. Ron Wall, presently joint chief executive, will step down from the board on the same date.

Group chairman Geoff French said that the change marks the next step in the transition of executive management responsibility from the firm's pre-flotation board structure to the next generation of
business leaders.

"When we went to the market - two years ago now - we recognised that our structure we had at the time with joint chief executives was unusual but part of our transition from private ownership to a plc structure.

"Because things have gone well, that transitional arrangement has clearly worked well. But we always said it would be an interim arrangement," said French.

A trading statement released today added that market conditions have remained "favourable" during the third quarter in the group's core market segments and that all divisions have continued to take advantage of this positive trading environment. Strong demand across both the domestic and international businesses has been reflected in a good flow of new contract awards.

As a result, the board remains confident of achieving results for the full year in line with expectations. Looking beyond the financial year-end, the Group sees strong demand continuing in its core markets, both in the UK and internationally.

The statement adds that the group continues to identify opportunities to supplement its strong organic growth with value-enhancing acquisitions. Net group borrowings remain modest, providing headroom for those acquisition opportunities, which fit the group's strict commercial and financial criteria.

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