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Profits boost for Hyder as consultant looks to grow

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BETTER THAN expected interim results last month at consultant Hyder have prompted analysts to re-evaluate the company with a recommended share price of 443p, up from 381p.

Share price currently stands at 403p.

In its interim results for the half year to September 2006 profit before tax rose to ú8.1M ($15.8M) from ú2.6M and revenue was up from ú80.1M to ú97.2M.

'It is solid stuff and we are well on our way to operating at 10% profit. We are just over 5%, from being in negative numbers not so long ago, ' said chief executive Tim Wade.

Profi s were boosted by a ú4.3M exceptional gain after the consultant agreed a five-year freeze on pension contributions with its staff, reducing its pension liability.

Performance was buoyed by growth across the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Europe.

Turnover has risen spectacularly since the company was purchased from Welsh Water under a management buyout in 2001.

Turnover for the full year 2001/02 was ú119M with profits of ú2.5M. At the time Wade committed to turning over ú200M per annum within five years.

It plans to reach the target by making several key acquisitions over the coming year.

'We see there is more opportunity for profitable growth outside the UK than within it.

Germany and Hong Kong are high on our list, and we have done a number of acquisitions in Australia, ' said financial director Simon Hamilton-Eddy.

'The industry is consolidating.

Quoted companies will increase their market share through organic growth, acquisition and consolidation, ' added Wade.

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