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Consultancy expands amid resources boom

Australian infrastructure services consultancy Cardno Limited has acquired a 51-person, Perth-based specialist survey firm called Spectrum Survey & Mapping, adding an estimated $7 million to its annual revenue.

The buy-out follows that of Sydney-based marine and freshwater ecology consultants, The Ecology Lab, heightening Cardno Limited’s level of expertise providing specialist advice for social infrastructure teams in nine countries globally, including the United States of America, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

The two acquisitions are part of a plan to expand the Brisbane-based company’s presence in the resource and survey sectors, according to Cardno managing director, Andrew Buckley.

“The acquisition of Spectrum aligns with Cardno’s stated strategy of seeking more exposure to the resources sector, and follows Cardno’s purchase of Perth-based, mining structures consultancy Cardno Buckland in September 2007,” he said.

“With the resources boom continuing at a strong pace, Cardno has secured further representation in this growth market.”

The acquisition follows the company posting a record profit on the Australian Stock Exchange earlier this month, with figures up a massive 48.6 per cent for the year ending 30 June 2008 from the same period last year. Cardno announced a net profit after tax of $27.45 million, teamed with a 50.4 per cent increase in revenue to $399 million for the year.

The newly-acquired Spectrum Survey & Mining — which will be re-named Cardno Spectrum Survey — specialises in open cut and underground mine, GPS, engineering and cadastral survey, along with a range of mapping and specialised photography services to the mining and urban development industries.

Spectrum’s current managing director welcomes the acquisition, claiming there are numerous opportunities to cross-sell Spectrum’s skill-set to Cardno’s existing client base, which includes some of the country’s major mining companies in Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia and Northern Territory such as Western Australia-based government land developer Landcorp.

Cardno chairman John Massey said earlier this month that Cardno’s “integration process” has been very successful.

“Our financial performance validates our successful business model. We have put considerable effort into the integration of acquisitions and building the business via cross selling,” he said.

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