Engineering firm Amec has confirmed plans to split in two after a poor performance from its UK construction division depressed full-year results.
The company will look to complete the sale of its French arm Spie, which was put up for sale last year, before separating its core energy and process management operations from its construction activities.
Amec said underlying profits rose seven per cent to #124.1 million in 2005, but project solutions saw its surplus dip 58 per cent to #11.2 million.
Turnover increased 6.1 per cent to #4.94 billion.
The results included a strong contribution from the engineering and technical services division as Amec benefited from increased US Federal Government work, including contracts in Iraq.
The division also celebrated the first major contract for Amec Nuclear, which was created in July 2005 and has been involved in the restart of two nuclear reactors at the Bruce A power station in Ontario, Canada.
Profits in engineering and technical services rose 18 per cent to #95.4 million, while Amec said its oil and gas services arm improved profits by 25 per cent to #63.9 million, following the addition of new North Sea contracts with BP and BG Group.
But in project solutions, revenues were depressed by 24 per cent to #976.5 million after Amec pulled out of unattractive areas such as civil engineering and construction management in the United States and saw reduced rail activity in the UK.
An exceptional non-cash charge, relating to the withdrawal from certain construction markets in the UK and US, meant bottom-line profits reduced 72.1 per cent to #25.4 million in 2005.
Amec is a global company that employs 44,000 people in 40 countries - it has over 500 in the Midlands where its main offices are at Stratford-upon-Avon, Leicester and Birmingham. Stratford is one of the company's main centres of excellence for multi-disciplinary design services.
Major Midlands activities, most of which are carried out from Stratford and Leicester, include the design and delivery of a multi-million pound diagnostic and treatment centre for the NHS in Burton-upon-Trent. The company is carrying out an eight-year alliance contract with National Grid to replace gas mains along the M1 corridor in the Sheffield, Nottingham, Derby and Leicester areas.