Infrastructure service company Mouchel Group announced a hefty rise in revenue yesterday, after signing several lucrative contracts and making key acquisitions over the last year.
The company, which employs 340 staff in eight offices in the West Midlands, saw turnover go up by nearly a half to £308 million, with pre-tax profit up to £14.3 million in its half-year results. The group’s order book now stands at a record £2.3 billion.
Mouchel Group – named Mouchel Parkman until the end of last year – mainly bids for contracts with local and central government, and regulated industries.
Contracts in the West Midlands include the active traffic management pilot on the M42, which it hopes to roll out onto the M5 and M6, the other motorways making up the 'Birmingham Box’.
It also supervised the 220-acre i54 business park regeneration scheme at Pendeford, near Wolverhampton.
National projects won by the group in the past six months include highways contracts with Hertfordshire and Lincolnshire County Councils.
It has also been appointed preferred bidder for its first Building Schools for the Future commission in the Borough of Hackney, London.
Although organic revenue growth within the company was healthy at 17 per cent, a large part of the revenue rise was down to the successful integration of external companies.
In August last year Mouchel made a £46 million cash takeover of HBS, formerly Hyder Business Services, from Terra Firma.
And in March, the group acquired public sector management consultancy business Hedra, in an attempt to give it more expertise in working within heavily regulated markets.
Mouchel chief executive Richard Cuthbert said that while he was 'always on the look out for potential acquisitions,’ the group would be concentrating on integrating the new buys in the second half of this year.
He also said he expected a pick up in business despite the credit crunch, as historically outsourcing has been high in times of uncertainty.
He said while local authorities are under pressure to reduce spending they will resort to consultancies and outsourcers to help them achieve new targets while continuing to improve services.
Mouchel’s troubled rail business was the only division which failed to make good profit figures. The group said that delays and problems from Network Rail and the failure of Metronet in London had increased market uncertainty.
The relatively small size of Mouchel’s rail business impacts growth but would be expanding through acquisitions this year, a spokesman added. Mr Cuthbert said: "The first half of the year has seen another period of strong growth for Mouchel.
"We continue to reap the rewards of a strategy that is focused on working closely with UK public sector organisations and with industries regulated by Government to transform public services.
"All of our clients want to reduce the cost of service delivery while at the same time improving the quality of those services – with the extended reach provided by the complementary acquisitions of HBS and Hedra, Mouchel is better placed than ever to assist them with this challenge.
"The general market outlook for our services remains good and we continue to be confident about our future prospects."
Mouchel Group was created as Mouchel Parkman in 2003, when Mouchel merged with the West Midlands-based Parkman.