May Gurney ensures that street lights and road signs on the roads of East Anglia and London are in working order. The Norwich company has divisions dealing with highway maintenance, railways, utilities, environmental and civil engineering, and asset management. Founded in 1926 by civil engineers Roland May and Christopher Gurney, the business has undergone two management buyouts. The most recent in 2001, led by David Sterry, chief executive, was financed with £20m of debt from Bank of Scotland. With the government spending more on the road and rail networks, and the company winning longer-term contracts, profits have increased 55% a year from £2.3m in 2001 to £8.6m in 2004.
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