May Gurney expects austerity drive to help its order book

City A.M. Reporter
MORE British local authorities are likely to outsource work as government austerity forces them to cut costs, infrastructure and maintenance firm May Gurney said yesterday, creating opportunities for the private sector.

May Gurney, which helps maintain Britain’s roads, rail and utilities services, said a need for local authorities to address funding gaps but protect frontline services would create work in areas like highways, transport and environmental services.

“What we are seeing coming to market now are increasing numbers of new-to-market in-house work coming through,” chief executive Philip Fellowes-Prynne said, referring to work that has in the past been done by authorities themselves.

“I don’t think it will be a deluge but it will be a constant feed-in over the next three to five years,” he said, adding that Britain’s next comprehensive spending review expected towards the end of the year would likely help drive outsourcing further.

May Gurney, which makes 60 per cent of revenue from the public sector, posted a 17 per cent rise in full-year profit. Underlying pre-tax profit for the year to 31 March rose to £28.4m on revenue that grew 22 per cent to £695.3m.