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WSP plots assault on highways market

News

CONSULTANT WSP said this week it was planning an aggressive move into local government highway management work after experiencing sluggish growth in the British infrastructure market.

Chief executive Chris Cole said he also wanted to forge new links with contractors for Highways Agency work in a bid to boost orders.

The firm is in the top five in the Highways Agency's Capability Assessment Toolkit rankings, but appears to be losing out to other consultant/ contractor combinations.

Results published last week show that WSP increased pretax profi from £14.8M to £20.2M on turnover up from £322.3M to £373.9M in the year to 31 December.

The figures were restated to reflect changes in tax and pension accounting.

Property was WSP's strongest performing division with work in the Middle East and the United States contributing to increased operating profits of £11.5M, up from £8.9M. Property turnover was up from £175M to £203M.

The company has just won work on the 65 storey building next to New York's Freedom Tower and is opening offices in Las Vegas and Los Angeles in response to demand.

But transport and infrastructure saw slower growth with operating profits increasing from £5.3M to £6M on turnover up from £91.4M to £101.8M.

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