Despite difficulties in the UK in the early part of 2009, Opus expects to trade for the full 2009 year in line with market expectations. However, while New Zealand and Canada continue to perform strongly and ahead of last year, and Australia is only moderately weaker, the sharp contraction in the UK economy means that Opus will have a softer than expected (but still positive) first half to 30 June 2009.
Early corrective actions, including reducing the workforce by 75, turned out to be insufficient as the UK market continued to decline. Further steps were taken in May to reduce costs while protecting capability through reduced salaries and working hours, but these will mainly impact in the second half. There are now signs that the UK market is starting to find a bottom.
The Australian market has softened in the privately funded development sector in which Opus has a significant involvement. This has impacted adversely on Opus’ trading in Australia for the first quarter of 2009. The workforce was reduced by 16 in March, and in May action was taken to reduce working hours where workloads were light.
The New Zealand and Canadian markets are performing well in the public infrastructure sectors Opus predominantly operates in and Opus is trading positively in both, but there is a risk that the creation of the Auckland Supercity could slow down infrastructure activity during the transition period. Opus is also reducing its New Zealand workforce by 50 to respond to specific areas of market weakness. Opus has a global workforce of 2500, with 1800 employed in New Zealand.
Opus expects that the measures taken in March and May will enable the company to trade strongly for the remainder of 2009 and year end expectations are still in line with analysts forecast.
The economic and business environment is unusually uncertain though Opus is actively managing its position in all markets, minimising costs but protecting its ongoing capability and actively pursuing market opportunities.
Opus has no net debt and has recently negotiated extended banking facilities with the BNZ.
For further information please contact:
Opus International Consultants
Tel: 04 4717022
Mob: 021 669254