Mouchel goes off UK rail

The UK infrastructure services group is not renewing private rail contracts as it concentrates on public sector work. Reduced profits for rail projects were offset in the last 6 months by buoyant profits in government-backed projects.

One of the UK’s most high profile infrastructure contractors is moving away from private contracts in order to weather the recession by focussing on government-funded projects.

The consulting and business services firm Mouchel, which operates in the UK and the Gulf, revealed a 25 percent increase in pre-tax profits for the last six months, but said it had “faced challenges” in rail and the middle east during that time.

The firm said it has “made a conscious decision” not to renew signal and bridge repair contracts with the privatised Network Rail, following a drying up of demand and a reduction in profitability: “Completion of the Colchester to Clacton contract will mark our withdrawal [from rail] contracts,” it said.

“We have seen a particular drop in demand for infrastructure projects in Dubai, but we have not seen this drop in Abu Dhabi,” said Ian Parker, group marketing and communications director, referring to the impact of the recession in the United Arab Emirates.