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Wed September 30 2020

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WSP takes hits from home and abroad

28 Jun 11 Consulting engineer WSP is facing difficulties not just from the downturn of work in the UK but also from its exposure to political turmoil in Libya.

WSP is making an exceptional provision of around £5m in its interim results for the six months ending 30 June 2011 against its asset exposure and reorganisation costs incurred in Libya.  “In the meantime we continue to actively pursue our contractual entitlements to all amounts due as far as is practically possible,” the company said, in a pre-close trading update.

The downturn in UK public sector work, particularly transportation, has also proved problematic and a new round of redundancies is planned as part of a £4m restructuring of UK operations.

The company said: “Whilst we are seeing a gradual improvement in the UK private sector this will not compensate for the significant decline in the public sector which will impact on our financial performance in the second half.  We will therefore be taking further restructuring action in the UK over and above that previously anticipated.

"As a consequence of the trading conditions in the UK public sector we now expect the group results in 2011 to be below those achieved last year after incurring expected restructuring costs of around £4m.”

Non-executive chairman David Turner steps down from the board in September to be succeeded by former KPMG senior partner Ian Barlow, who is also on the board of Smith & Nephew, the PA Consulting Group, Candy & Candy and the Brunner Investment Trust. He is also chairman of the Racecourse Association.

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