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Mouchel to make more job cuts

Consultant Mouchel has got rid of its group finance director Kevin Young after admitting that more jobs will have to go to cut costs.

In a trading statement on Wednesday the firm said it was carrying out a “more comprehensive” exercise to take costs out of the business.

A spokesman said it was too early to say how many jobs could be at risk.

The firm said that the new coalition government’s efforts to tackle the budget deficit had hit its highways and schools businesses particularly hard.

It added that in the medium to long term it expected increased opportunities as the public sector looks to increase efficiencies. A move to more outsourcing was likely, it said.

But it said that in the short-term it had to take more costs out of the business.

Last year the firm lost 350 civil and structural staff, with numbers falling from 7,200 to 6,850. Analysts said that this had not been enough. The firm now agrees.

“Given recent developments and the continued uncertainty ahead of the budget and the spending review, we have taken a number of steps to reduce the Group’s cost base in recent months,” said the Mouchel statement.

“We have now embarked on a further and more comprehensive exercise to take cost out of the business in the immediate short-term. The objective is to ensure that we have the right organisational structure, staffing levels and office portfolio going forward,” it said.

The firm was one of the worst hit by the Dubai property collapse, and has already announced plans to get out of the Middle East market.

In this week’s trading statement it said the sale of its assets in the region should now be concluded in the first half of the 2010/11 financial year.

The firm said other international operations were performing well.

The most significant development is in Western Australia, where it has been nominated as preferred proponent for the first of the maintenance management contracts in the Perth Metro area, initially for a five-year term but with the potential for unlimited extension.  

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