Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Scott Wilson profits surge 30%

Scott Wilson's profits have increased by £4.4M to £19.1M in 2007-8, a 29.9% increase, on turnover of £324.2M, a 24.2% leap compared to last year.

Speaking to NCE, Scott Wilson chairman Geoff French said the domestic market accounted for 75% of profits, and the rest from work abroad, particularly the Middle East, China and India.

"We are already the largest consultancy in China working for Chinese clients, and the growth in China is mind-blowing - trillions [of dollars] will be spent in infrastructure in the coming years, and GDP growth there is 10% this year, and predicted to be 9.4% next year. In India the figures are also exciting - 7.6% this year, and 7.2% next year.

"We are prompted by the long-term view - China will be the world's largest economy in 2040, so there is a long journey ahead."

French said initial years of low profits in China were justified as growth there is now strong.

"The margin on international work is now 5%, which has better than trebled in recent years, and we now want to grow the top line," he said.

Chief executive Hugh Blackwood said major acquisitions were a, "major part of growth policy," and the company has secured £70M in bank facilities for takeovers, and reduced borrowings to £7M.

Blackwood said market conditions were favourable for takeovers, and "We have has a number of close misses, but companies working in international and environmental are attractive," he said.

Scott Wilson's shares showed a modest increase, of 0.75% on the news, but French said the company was well-placed to face the looming recession.

"Consultants are better protected than contractors. If, for example, the Highways Agency decide to use Hard Shoulder Running instead of widening, then consultants will do the studies.

"We can re-plan, re-design and re-study, and skills are very transportable. We have significant growth in the Middle East to swallow capacity in building and infrastructure," he said.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.