Cost consultant Sweett racks-up £19m loss

Grant Prior 8 years ago

Sweett has unveiled a pre-tax £19.1m loss on turnover of £77m for the year to March 31 2016.

The consultant revealed last month that it has agreed an offer to sell the business to rival WSP for £24m.

The deal comes as Sweett was in negotiations with Bank of Scotland about future funding as the current deal expired this month.

The eye-watering losses were mainly due to a costly withdrawal from the Middle East market and sale of its Asia Pacific and India businesses which hit the firm for £14m.

Investigating bribery claims in the Middle East cost the company £1.4m during the year while fines after Sweett was found guilty added another £2.3m.

Sweett shareholders have faced a turbulent year with the share price hitting a low of 16p in April.

The WSP offers values the company at 35p a share.

Continuing operations in the core UK and Europe business saw revenue rise 6.6% to £54.9m as pre-tax profits dipped to £2.2m from £2.9m.

Douglas McCormick, CEO of Sweett Group, said: “It has been a busy year for Sweett Group, a year in which we have delivered against all the key strategic priorities outlined in the spring of 2015. 

“We have sold the APAC and India businesses; announced our exit from MENA; concluded the legacy SFO issues; and restructured the Group to operate across five separate regions.

“Most recently, it was announced on 25 May 2016 that the Board had reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash offer by WSP to acquire the Company at 35p per share, a premium of approximately 52.2% to the share price on the preceding day.   

“Joining WSP will provide Sweett with a stronger platform both operationally and financially for growth in the years ahead. 

“I look forward with great enthusiasm as we embark on the next stage of our journey.”

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