13 April 2010

At Opus International Consultant’s Annual Meeting today, Chairman, Kerry McDonald said that 2009 had been a challenging but ultimately successful year for Opus, in spite of the serious recession in many economies.

The global infrastructure services provider achieved a Net Profit after Tax of $18.6 million, an increase of 6.3 percent on 2008, even though Revenue was slightly down on 2008 by one percent to $367.8 million. Return on Equity was a very good 24.9 percent, although down slightly from 26 percent in 2008.

Notably in 2008 (the latest data available), Opus ranked fourth amongst NZX listed companies in terms of return on equity.

“The recession posed a serious challenge in all of our countries of operation, but particularly in the United Kingdom and to a lesser extent in Australia,” said Mr McDonald. “However, the Opus Board and management had been alert to this risk, and with excellent managerial leadership and a committed and supportive staff, the company was able to end the year with a good result.”

“Through the first quarter management responded quickly with a range of measures, tailored to the various circumstances in different parts of the company. Marketing and cost management were intensified. Reduced working hours and flexible working arrangements were introduced in some cases and remuneration increases at all levels were made fully conditional on the achievement of performance targets. In addition, cross region resource sharing, which has always been a strength of Opus’ operation, were further increased. 

In the event most employees achieved a normal increase in remuneration. Regrettably, some staff redundancies were unavoidable, especially in the United Kingdom and to a lesser extent in New Zealand and Australia.”

Despite the challenges Opus maintained its capability. It remains the largest infrastructure consultancy in New Zealand and through its network of offices throughout the country is able to deliver a national standard of services at a local level. In Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom Opus continues to replicate this local office model where this is feasible. Opus now has a total of 2285 employees operating from 73 offices.

Looking ahead, Mr McDonald said there were significant levels of market uncertainty and risk, which was a key consideration for the Board and management team.

“However, there are also opportunities for growth, particularly recognising the economic shifts amongst the world’s regions and economies and their relative rates of growth over the last decade or so,” said Mr McDonald. “As a Board we believe Opus is in a strong position and it has reactivated its growth and acquisition strategy.”

For further information please contact:

Kerry McDonald,
Chairman
Tel: 021 433 350

Or

Dr Kevin Thompson,
Managing Director
Tel: 04 471 7022  
Mob: 021 669 254