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Scott Wilson gets ready to dive into water sector

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BULLISH SCOTT Wilson has set its sights on acquisitions in the water sector after posting strong interim results for the six months ending 29 October 2006.

In its first six months of trading as a stock market-listed company, the firm saw revenues increase by 23% on the same period in 2005 from £92.1M to £113.2M. Pro before tax more than doubled from £3.6M to £8.0M.

The firm also boasts a record order book of £250M following major contract wins including London's East London Line and Edinburgh Airport's rail link.

It wants this expansion to continue, driven by bolt-on acquisitions in environment and natural resources.

'It's been received wisdom for some time that the market will consolidate. We want to be a consolidator rather than a consolidatee, ' said chairman Geoff French.

'We are relatively under represented in environment and natural resources so the water sector is one we are obviously aiming for.' The interim results reect the acquisitions in May 2006 of the 30% minority interest in Scott Wilson Pavement Engineering and in June of Canadian mining rm Roscoe Postle. But they do not include the recent purchases of consultant Ferguson Mcllveen, Cameron Taylor Group and DGP International.

The strong results have prompted the firm to up its medium-term target margins from 6% to 8%.

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