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Diversified engineering services outfit Downer EDI said it expects profitability in the current year to improve by at least 12% over 2003/04, despite a shortage of skilled engineering workers hurting its ability to meet booming demand for services. Downer EDI, which operates across the areas of rail and road infrastructure, telecommunications, mining and power generation, has lifted its revenue forecasts for 2005, built on an increase in secured sales and above-budget first quarter trading.
However the company's managing director, Stephen Gillies, warned
that a shrinking pool of skilled engineering workers was already
constraining the ability of engineering-oriented companies to meet
the increase in demand, particularly in the mining industry. Mr Gillies told shareholders at the annual general meeting that
the company had lifted its revenue forecast above the previously
predicted 10 per cent growth on 2003/04's revenue of $3.2 billion
and that profitability in the current year would improve over 2004
by "at least 12 per cent".
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