THE Irish division of international civil engineering consultants, White Young Green (WYG) made an operating loss of £200,000 (€235,000) in its latest financial year – down from a profit of £3.8m – as the decline in the construction sector hit the business hard.
The Leeds-headquartered company – which last year, began to make an effort to become more international and reduce its dependency on its core British and Ireland operations – blamed the switch from profit to loss in its Irish business on the recession and the ongoing reduction in construction industry activity.
The results for the company also showed a 38% drop in net revenue to £26.6m, for the 12 months to the end of June. However, the company – which built up a sizeable presence in Ireland, mainly through acquisitions, over the last few years – remains committed.
“Although we see trading in Ireland being challenged for the next few years, we’ve completed a substantial restructuring programme and believe the business is correctly sized for the current order book,” commented WYG group chairman, Mike McTighe.
WYG has cut its Irish staff levels by nearly 300 – to about 500 – in the past couple of years and has lately picked up a number of project wins and saw its mechanical, electrical and management services divisions perform strongly here.
On a group-wide basis – outside of Ireland and Britain, the company has a presence in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia – the year saw WYG post pre-tax losses of £21.9m and revenue fall by more than £40m to £220m.
Management added that while British and Irish markets “remain very challenging”, growth in the group’s international revenue continues; as does the development of its global business.
Mr McTighe said they were encouraged by the way “some important international markets for our services are holding up”.
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