Strong first half for UGL

For the six months to December 31, 2008, UGL said its net profit after tax was $68 million, up from the $53.3 million recorded for the 2008 first half.Operating revenue was $2.31 billion, well up from the $1.56 billion recorded in 2008.United Group chief executive Richard Leupen said the diversity of the company’s earnings base should help it ride out the tough economic conditions.“There is no question that trading conditions are getting tougher as our clients pare back their discretionary spending,” Leupen said. “But this is a robust and diverse business and the bulk of our revenue comes from providing essential, non-discretionary services.”At December 31, 2008, UGL’s order book stood at $8.3 billion, up 25% on the previous year. “While the economy at large is enduring a very challenging period, we are well placed to ride it out and emerge in even stronger shape,” Leupen said.

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