BusinessCompany NewsParkman enjoys public sector boom.

Parkman enjoys public sector boom.

Although many private sector companies are struggling because of the economic downturn, most of those used by the public sector are booming.

One of these firms is professional support services company Parkman Group, which reveals its annual results on Monday.

In its financial year to 31 March, Parkman made some important contract gains from Gordon Brown’s increase in public spending. As a result, finance director Ian Howitt has had to deal with several issues preceding the publication of the company’s accounts.

In November’s interim results, the group announced its acquisition of education services business Full Circle LLP, an important purchase for Parkman because the new company is a major provider of primary school inspection services to Ofsted.

The acquisition was financed partly by the issue of new Parkman shares, which were listed in the accounts as ‘shares to be issued’. Howitt and his finance team wrote down the figures based on estimates of the deferred consideration. Now the shares have been issued, the accountants will have to revise the figures and make adjustments to the company’s goodwill.

Howitt will also be proud of the company’s other achievements during the year. In the past six months, Parkman has been awarded two major contracts by the government, including a 10-year commission by Network Rail’s northwest region, worth between £25m and £30m, for the inspection of structural assets.

Last week the company announced more contract wins. In a deal worth more than £1.5m, Ofsted reappointed Parkman to carry out primary school inspections for the 2003/04 academic year, and Northumbrian Water awarded it a five-year contract to manage its water network in a contract valued at £1m.

Parkman also won two contracts from the Greater Manchester Police for project management services. Together the contracts are worth about £500,000 per annum over two years with a potential one-year extension.

A particular boost to the company’s share price was the invitation to enter into negotiations as preferred bidder by Liverpool City Council.

The 10-year joint venture is worth at least £10m a year and involves providing the council’s professional services function in property, building, highways and traffic engineering.

The contract is expected to start in September 2003 and is especially important now that Liverpool has won the bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2008.

Go to www.parkman.co.uk for more news.

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