John Wood Group, the London-listed engineering and consulting firm, is witnessing a strong phase of expansion, leveraging growing investments in energy security and the shift towards cleaner fuels. The company's CEO, Ken Gilmartin, indicated on Friday that the firm is continuing to increase its global workforce with a focus on markets like the Middle East and North America.
The company's employee count, which stood close to 36,000 at the end of June, reflects an almost 5% increase from the previous year. This figure underscores the firm's growth trajectory. Notably, the expansion primarily involves white-collar professionals such as engineers, while the number of blue-collar workers remains relatively stable. Despite labor-market tightness in certain regions, Gilmartin noted that overall hiring hasn't been particularly challenging.
Wood Group's growth strategy is centered around organic expansion. In late 2022, the firm altered its approach to aim for a larger market share in the minerals industry and to exploit burgeoning energy markets like hydrogen and carbon capture. This strategy unveiled last November has led to a strong pipeline of opportunities - the best it has seen in ten years.
In terms of financial performance, Wood reported an increase in first-half adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization last month. The figure rose to $202 million from a restated $186 million a year earlier. Additionally, revenue saw a 16% surge reaching $2.99 billion. Following these results, the company revised its full-year earnings and revenue guidance upward.
Client sentiment remains largely positive according to Gilmartin. Their clientele includes some of the world's largest energy companies such as U.S.-based Chevron (NYSE: CVX ). He noted a significant rise in investment activities currently underway and stated that clients appear less worried about inflation and recession risks compared to a year ago.
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