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WSP looks to boost troubled US business

CONSULTANT WSP said this week it wanted to recruit in the United States to boost its structures business, despite reporting falling profits and turnover there.

'It has been a difficult time but we are now starting to see our (US) order book increasing and a growth in the numbers of enquiries. We are even looking to recruit, ' said WSP chief executive Chris Cole.

He was speaking on Monday as WSP announced results for 2003.

WSP's US business saw turnover fall from £32.9M to £27.8M last year while US operating profits fell from £2.2M to £1.2M.

Group turnover increased from £261M to £284M and pretax profit increased from £400,000 to £5.6M. Performance was boosted by strong results in Europe.

Cole said the improvement followed a restructuring exercise in 2002 after the company had failed to meet its performance expectations for the first time in nine years.

As a result it had to close offices and cut staff.

Cole said the company was also expanding from Hong Kong into China despite losing money in Asia last year.

'It is a difficult market but we think that this year we will turn the corner with our increasing presence in China through our office in Shanghai, ' he said.

INFOPLUS For a full copy of the results announcement go to www.

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