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Losses fall as WYG cuts 620 staff

Consultant WYG reduced pretax losses from £129M to £21.8M after incurring ongoing restructuring costs in the year to 30 June.

Year of “turmoil”

Exceptional restructuring costs were down from £141M to £23.8M and the company shed 620 jobs.

Chief executive Paul Hamer said the firm’s annual results showed he was “absolutely on track” for turning round the company after a year of turmoil in 2009.

The firm delisted from the London Stock Exchange and gave a 60.5% controlling stake to its banks in January after it racked up a massive £103M debt (NCE 14 January).

Hamer said the firm was now in the middle of a restructuring operation which will refocus the business on more profitable markets. He also warned that further redundancies were likely this year. Last year the firm shut 21 offices and more closures are likely this year.

“Unfortunately we had a net reduction in headcount in the year and we are currently further streamlining the business in terms of central services but also by consolidating our domestic portfolio. So we expect a real drive to further efficiency, which will lead to a further reduction in headcount.”

Hamer said that future job cuts depended on the impact of the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

“If our markets hold up we don’t anticipate reductions on the scale of what we’ve got now”

Paul Hamer

“If our markets hold up we don’t anticipate reductions on the scale of what we’ve got now, but that is based on spending holding up.”

Hamer added that despite the need for redundancies the firm was recruiting “quite aggressively” in areas where it was weak.

“Aggressive” recruiting despite redundancies

He said graduate recruitment was particularly important because he wants to ensure the firm has enough “deliverers” to service its growing workload.

WYG’s results for the year to 30 June show revenue down from £261.6M to £220.6M. Overseas revenue rose by £12.5M to £65.3M as the firm looked to expand in foreign markets.

International work now accounts for over a third of the firm’s income, and Hamer is hoping to make this 50% by 2013.

WYG has opened overseas offices in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Abu Dhabi, a subsidiary company in Croatia and is currently setting up a legal entity which will enable it operate a subsidiary in South Africa.

In the last financial year, WYG won its biggest ever global programme of work - a four-year, £13M project to restore and upgrade transport, environment and energy infrastructure across the Western Balkans.

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