(Sharecast News) - RPS sounded an upbeat note on its outlook on Friday following a strong start to the year.
The professional services firm said its performance in the five months to 27 May had been "encouraging and ahead of the board's expectations". Fee revenues grew 12% on the same period a year earlier at constant currency to £215.4m, with a margin improvement of around 100 basis points.
"With strong demand for our services reflected in growing order books and increasing headcount, all segments, except North America, delivered year-on-year fee revenue growth and margin improvement in the period," it said.
"Although market drivers remain positive in North America, as reported in our Q1 update on April 27th, private equity activity has been slow in the first five months and delays continue in the initiation of government infrastructure projects, although we are starting to see improvements in the speed of project initiation."
As at 27 May, the contracted order book was up 8% on December 2021 and 12% on May 2021, and remains supported by "the very positive market trends in urbanisation, natural resources, and sustainability".
Chief executive John Douglas said: "The investments we have made have enabled RPS to capitalise on the growth opportunities in our markets and deliver a strong performance in the Period. We also see continued momentum in the second half.
"There remains clear demand for our expertise in our areas of focus - including renewables, project management, transport infrastructure and sustainability - and we are well positioned to continue to benefit from the positive market trends in urbanisation, natural resources and sustainability well into the future."
At 0945 BST, the shares were up 5.6% at 116.12 p.