Sweett Group returns to the black as revenue grows

Sweett Group, an international property and infrastructure consultancy, has delivered a modest rise in revenue, pushing the group back into profit for the half year ended September 30th.

Sweett Group, an international property and infrastructure consultancy, has delivered a modest rise in revenue, pushing the group back into profit for the half year ended September 30th.

Sales climbed from £36.1m to £37.7m year-on-year, while a loss before tax of £0.2m turned to a profit of £1.6m. The cost of sales also rose, from £24.7m to £26.2m over the same period, but a profit on the disposal of assets and a decline of around £1.0m in admin expenses ensured the company ended the period with a profit.

Earnings per share came in a 1.8p, compared to a loss of 0.5p the same period the previous year.

Chairman Michael Henderson said: "The improved trading performance was in-line with management's expectations. The disposal of our investments in the Plymouth LIFT and Inverclyde Schools PFI projects generated £1.2m of the profit reported for the period. This programme of disposals is designed to release funds to reduce net debt and to reinvest in our core business operations.

"In Europe we continue to benefit from the restructuring actions completed last year, whilst our investments in the energy and infrastructure sectors have resulted in a number of major commissions.

"The group's main target growth market remains Asia Pacific although we are seeing a slowdown in China due to the slowing economy. Diversifying our service offering and sector expertise and cross-selling opportunities throughout the whole of the region is, however, starting to provide benefits. In Australia we are re-aligning our business to the more vibrant private sector, which includes direct investors from China."

The group's order book currently stands at £92m and described the split between Europe (40%), Asia Pacific (54%) and MEAI (6%) as "healthy".

Net debt at the end of the six months totalled £9.5m, down from £10.8m at the same date in 2011.

The dividend was increased by 0.1p to 0.3p.

NR

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