LONDON (Alliance News) - Construction and property consultancy Sweett Group PLC Tuesday reported an increase in profit for the recent full financial year, boosted in part by a one-off gain of GBP1.0 million.
The London-based company posted pretax profit of GBP2.8 million for the year ended March 31, up from GBP1.8 million a year earlier, as revenue rose 11% to GBP89.4 million for GBP80.6 million.
Sweett Group, which investigated allegations by The Wall Street Journal newspaper last year about improper business conduct by a former employee, said its results benefited from a one-off gain associated with the unwinding of an Australian hedge contract and the financial close of a social housing deal in Leeds, worth GBP1.0 million and GBP1.2 million respectively.
AIM-listed Sweett said it also has been boosted by growth in the UK economy. The company said this is encouraging as its UK business remains its largest and most established entity, accounting for 50% of group revenue.
In addition, the company said great progress has been made with larger international clients many of which are now using Sweett Group across several regions which is "taking us into new markets".
Financially, net debt at the year-end fell to GBP6.3 million from GBP7.1 million.
In response to the allegations made by The Wall Street Journal, Sweett Group said it has identified the need to improve internal controls and risk procedures, particularity in locations where it has fewer staff. The company has commissioned another investigation into the allegations of bribery after its original investigators were unable to speak to the former employee.
Looking ahead, Sweett Group said it is trading well and continues to gain market share. It said it is well positioned with an order book of GBP109 million compared with GBP100 million a year ago.
On the back of its performance the company increased its final dividend to 0.8 pence from 0.7 pence, making a final dividend of 1.3 pence compared with 1.0 pence a year earlier.
Sweett Group shares were up 4.5% at 39.70 pence Tuesday morning.