Shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting in Leeds today will be told by chairman Mike McTighe that the trading is in line with the board's expectations and, although the UK market remains “subdued and highly competitive”, there are opportunities overseas.
“We continue to exploit a strong pipeline of international opportunities and believe that the prospects for international growth around a five city strategy (namely Warsaw, Ankara, Moscow, Abu Dhabi and Shanghai) remain good. For instance, we have recently been awarded a contract with a Polish government agency, which is expected to deliver fees in excess of €10m over three years, to provide consultancy and training services to companies right across Poland in a drive to help them overcome the negative effects of the economic slowdown.
In the UK, WYG has started work in support of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation on two of the MOD's largest estate programmes, including Germany Rebasing and the procurement of the Next Generation Estates Contracts.
“We are also seeing a number of major development projects come back on line, which were put on hold in 2010 during the Strategic Defence and Security Review, and increasing activity under the framework agreement we have with the Ministry of Justice,” the chairman says.
Mr McTighe adds: “We are encouraged by the progress being made in reducing the significant legacy costs relating to historical issues arising from the poor professional indemnity insurance history and the sub-optimal property portfolio from which WYG operates in the UK and Ireland. Progress in reducing these costs is slightly ahead of our expectations.
“We are maintaining a rigorous focus on cash management and the group's cash position remains in line with the board's expectations at the time of the placing.”
WYG recently raised £30m with a share placing. Mr McTighe concludes: “With a significantly improved balance sheet, a well-incentivised senior team and trading as anticipated, the board believes that the company is now well positioned to take advantage of growth opportunities."