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Jackson Civils becomes Certas and chases rail

NEWS

REVAMPED Jackson Civil Engineering will bid for projects worth up to £100M, elevating it into the top tier of UK contractors, it said this week.

Parent company Peterhouse Group has brought together all its infrastructure businesses under one division - to be called Certas plc - which, combined with planned acquisitions, will allow it to bid for big rail projects.

'In rail, we are currently in the second tier with a turnover of £35M but capacity well above that, ' said Certas managing director Alan Robertson. 'Railtrack is looking to increase the capacity of the top tier and we are one of the contractors which will feed off the increased spend.'

Robertson plans to double Certas' annual growth rate to 25-30% by next year. 'There are a number of acquisitions that we are looking at, from smaller complementary acquisitions up to £100M. It is a statement of our intent that we have a new business development director - David Best - and a new corporate lawyer, ' said Robertson.

Certas is one of three key divisions at Peterhouse, along with environmental and safety services, and construction and development. It includes Jackson Civils and rail division JacksonEve and accounts for 43% of the Peterhouse turnover for 2001 at £159.4M.

In the last year, Peterhouse services division - which then comprised infrastructure, environmental and safety services - achieved operating profits up 14% to £14.8M, turnover up 12% to £208M and a margin of 7.1%.

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