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CONCENTRATION ON CORE SERVICES AND KEY MARKETS BOOSTS PROFITS AT CURRIE & BROWN

22-Feb-2008

Currie & Brown, the global asset management consultancy, announced operating profit of £3.6 million for the year ended 30 September 2007, an increase of more than 296% over the previous year. The company posted a year-end pre-tax profit of £2.3m. Turnover increased to £63.3m, an increase of 11 per cent on an annualised basis.

Currie & Brown Chairman Erik Ostman, said the Board was pleased with the results, which were achieved during a period of corporate change within the privately-owned firm.

Following a fundamental restructure and cost reduction programme that saw the firm focus the business on sectors and key markets, the firm concluded a share buyback that saw ownership of the business returned to the employees and Employee Benefit Trust.

"The operating profit of £3.6 million sits comfortably with the expectations that we had for the year and reflects the strategic shift we have made to concentrate on core services and key markets," Mr Ostman said. "It also demonstrates a significant improvement in the margins and quality of earnings within the operating businesses. Our decision to focus on core services and key markets is starting to bear fruit."

The firm credits a shift to a market sector approach with the improvement in the quality and longevity of contracts it won from blue chip clients during 2007. This included an extension to a contract from Shell, continued work with M&S, Primark and BP, together with Health, Education and Defence work across the UK. In the industrial sector we have grown into bio-fuels and continue to engage in the pharmaceutical market.

Group Chief Executive Officer, Euan McEwan, said there were a number of key points to note about Currie & Brown’s performance in 2007.

"Overall our UK operation performed strongly and achieved a substantially improved operating profit. Trading conditions for the London office remained very tough, however the streamlined cost base and integration with the rest of the UK helped improve the operating profit for this office. Our other offices across the UK are delivering above target growth with a good base of long term prospects, with predictable earnings in the core cost and project management business," said Mr McEwan.

During 2007 the firm won a number of prestigious international contracts including the provision of cost estimating services for a refurbishment of labs at Yale University and the commercial and cost management services for the Formula One development in Abu Dhabi.

Euan McEwan again: "The majority of our international operations, such as the Middle East, Europe and the US, did well in attracting a healthy mix of new and repeat business. Our decision to restructure our Middle East operation in 2006 put us in good shape to take full advantage of the prevailing strong market conditions and I would expect that to accelerate in 2008."

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