Speaking as the firm unveiled its annual results for 2006/07, WYG chief executive Lawrie Haynes said firms carrying out "high quality" work would be a top priority for growing the firm's engineering portfolio, with planning, management and environmental consultancies equally favourable purchases.
WYG made five acquisitions in the financial year ended 30 June 2007, helping its turnover rise to £220.6M from £167.5M the previous year.
The purchases were made across a spread of disciplines, including project management consultancy Trench Farrow in October 2006, Adams Kara Taylor in November 2006 and town planner Turner Holden in February. Subsequent acquisitions in August of transport consultancy Savill Bird and Axon and financial management firm IMCL were estimated to have further boosted WYG's revenue by £22.7M.
"The acquisitive growth of the business enhances overall value of the business and opens us up to more markets, plus it brings in very strong people," said Haynes.
The acquisition of quality staff, particularly in the case of Adams Kara Taylor, had also helped raise the overall quality of work across the whole group, Haynes added.
WYG's pre-tax profit was up to £13.4M from £11.1M in 2006, with all acquisitions during 2006/7M costing the firm an initial outlay of £37M. A further £11.3M will be paid in cash or shares based on performance of the purchased firms.