WYG reports record orders and no worries about Brexit

WYG's CEO Paul Hamer said all the group's overseas operations act like local businesses and this will protect WYG from any Brexit fall-out.
WYG's CEO Paul Hamer said all the group's overseas operations act like local businesses and this will protect WYG from any Brexit fall-out.

Engineering consultancy WYG announced a record order book and strong growth in all its global regions, adding that the outcome of the EU referendum will have little impact on the group.

This is despite the fact the EU is the Leeds-based compan​y's single largest client, in the form of EuropeAid, the organisation responsible for projects outside the EU.
WYG's CEO Paul Hamer said all the group's overseas operations act like local businesses and this will protect WYG from any Brexit fall-out.
"Our Polish business wins all its business as a Polish company, WYG Polska," he said.
"It's a strategy we put in place five years ago. No-one knows we are a UK business."
WYG has created local businesses and legal entities in its key markets.
Chairman Mike McTighe added: "We currently bid for the majority of our European work through our well-established Polish, Turkish and Croatian subsidiaries.
"We believe these will not be affected by Brexit. A relatively small proportion of our contracts are made solely through a UK entity. We do not expect there to be any impact on current contracts and we anticipate that if the UK enters into negotiations to leave the EU, there will be sufficient time for us to realign and reposition ourselves, if necessary, in such a way as to direct all of this business through our localised international subsidiaries so as to maintain our market leading position."
WYG, which is remaining neutral on the referendum, said it hasn't seen a slow down in trading ahead of the referendum.
Mr Hamer said: "We thought pre-Brexit there would be a slowdown in the commercial sector, but we haven't seen that in housebuilding, retail or mixed use development schemes.
"People are keen to press the button and move forward. It took us slightly by surprise."
The group said its order book rose 43 per cent to £150m following a pick up in EU orders after a hiatus. This was caused by the introduction of a new fourth step to protocols.
"This was resolved last autumn and we've seen a dramatic increase in the order book in the second half," said Mr Hamer.
Revenue rose 2 per cent to £134m in the year to March 31 and increased 5 per cent in the second half.
Pre-tax profits rose 23 per cent to £7m.
Analysts at N+1 Singer said in a note: "WYG’s prelims confirm a strong conclusion to 2016 and a positive outlook for 2017.
"The results are in line with expectations on all key metrics. The new year has begun with real promise following a much improved second half performance and with the order book at record levels. Indeed, at £150m, the strength of the order book is one of the few surprises in today’s statement compared to year-end guidance of in excess of £140m.
"In our view, WYG is in excellent shape with a strong growth outlook for the coming year."
Separately, WYG announced the appointment of Iain Clarkson, the former finance director of AMEC Foster Wheeler’s Clean Energy Europe Business, as its new CFO.