11 Feb 2014

Opus outlook positive

8:10 am on 11 February 2014

Opus International Consultants' annual bottom line fell 2.6 percent in 2013 but operating profit rose 14 percent and the company says the outlook is positive.

The engineering firm's net profit for calendar year 2013 fell to $22.8 million from $23.4 million the previous year, largely because of higher interest costs and tax.

The higher interest costs were partly due to last September's $110 million purchase of Canadian engineering and environmental consultancy Stewart Weir.

David Prentice managing director said at an operational level, his company was pleased with the result.

"We're pretty comfortable with the top-line growth ... it certainly bodes well for the future," Mr Prentice said.

Its New Zealand result was down 12 percent but the company had signalled when it announced is half-yearly results that it was facing some significant challenges in the market here, he said.

"We actually found the market last year one of the toughest we've faced for a while but what we've actually found is if you look at the second-half performance in New Zealand compared with the first-half performance, there's actually been a 16 percent improvement.

"So we've seen quite a substantial shift in momentum over the latter part of last year, which is very encouraging."