WYG revenue and profits 'broadly in line' with last year
Project management and technical consultancy WYG updated the market on its trading for the six months ending 30 September on Tuesday, as investors gathered for its annual general meeting, reporting that it expected revenue and operating profit before separately-disclosed items and share-based payments for the half year to be “broadly in line” with the comparative period last year.
The AIM-traded company said the benefits of actions taken to improve its efficiency and profitability had offset “some softness” in trading, in particular in its international development business where it had seen some delays in opportunities coming to market and a slower ramp-up of activities on certain existing projects, alongside a high level of bidding costs falling within the period.
“Our expectations for the full year are unchanged, namely that revenues will be at a similar level to last year and that the group will record a modest improvement in operating profit for the year as a whole,” non-executive chairman Jeremy Beeton told the assembled shareholders.
“Current net debt is approximately £15.0m including a £3.0m receivable from one of our international development business clients where we anticipate receipt of the outstanding balance very shortly.
“Our expectations for year end net debt are also unchanged from previous guidance, reflecting the group's normal seasonal working capital and cash collection profile.”
The group's order book of secured contracts continued to run at a “healthy level”, the board said, and as at 31 August stood at £161.3m.
Douglas McCormick, WYG’s chief executive officer, added that the company’s performance for the year-to-date was “broadly in line” with market expectations for the full year and, while it had seen softness particularly in its international operations, it continued to work hard to deliver a “significant and sustained” improvement in operating margins from the “current unacceptably low” levels, together with a more consistent cash conversion profile.
“We are making progress in developing a simpler, more robust business platform and implementing the recommendations identified in our business-wide efficiency review,” McCormick said.
“Our outlook for the full financial year remains unchanged.”
WYG was expected to announce its half-year results on 4 December.