Technology Project Services Plc, the engineering and technical support staff supplier has attributed its 30% increase in pre tax profits to UKP1.1m on turnover up 21% to UKP9.5m for 1987 on the growing awareness by European companies of the benefits of using short-term contract staff as a means of keeping overheads down, overcoming problems of fluctuating workloads and difficulties of finding staff for unpopular locations. The company specialises in the provision of human resources – engineering and support staff – in the aircraft, aerospace, electronics, telecommunications industries for both defence and commercial companies. It claims to have cornered upward of 70% of the UK market for hardware and software contract engineers qualified to between BSc to PhD level. That business generated around 95% of the company’s revenue. But the company admits to some difficulty in clearly defining its market and its exact share of it. Nonetheless it claims that during the past year its share of the British market rose by 6% while its European market share increased by 45%. The UK accounted for 54% of turnover and continental business 46%. Defence contracts accounted for 51% of the total. The company expects to defence work to pick up as more pressure for government suppliers come under increased pressure to submit competitive tenders. Technology Project Services said this will lead to a greater demand for specialists on short term contracts. The company is currently examining the possibility of doing business direct with the Ministry of Defence and the Admiralty rather than operating as a subcontractor for them. It is also keen to acquire a company undertaking complementary activities and has not ruled out a move into the more mature US market: I don’t think we can ignore it, Technology Project Services chairman Richard Avery said. The London-based company employes a core administrative staff of 21 – out of its London and South Queenferry, West Lothian, Scotland offices – and has around 250 staff out in the field at any one time. It obtained a full listing on the London Stock Exchange in May 1986 and was formed in l984 following the management-buyout of Consultants & Designers UK, a subsidiary of Greyhound Corp.