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Atkins profits jump 38% in first half

12 Nov 15 Consulting engineer WS Atkins has seen its profits leap on the back of improving market conditions in the UK.

Chief executive Uwe Krueger
Chief executive Uwe Krueger

For the six months ended 30th September 2015, Atkins reported half-year revenue up 9% to £904.6m (2014: £831.4m) and pre-tax profits up 38% to £53.8m (2014: £39.0m).

Operating margin improved from 5.4% last year to 6.6% this time.

The UK business reported a 7% increase in revenue to £426.4m and operating profit of £29.1m. Margins improved to 6.8% (2014: 5.7%) as the transportation and water, ground engineering and environment businesses delivered a better first half performance against a challenging trading period last year.

Quantity surveying subsidiary Faithful & Gould also had a good six months, with projects that include the University of Edinburgh’s new International Business School and EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.

Overseas, profits dipped 17% in North America and 3% in Asia Pacific but rose 27% in the Middle East, where it is working on Metro rail projects in Doha and Riyadh.

Chief executive Uwe Krueger said: “While short-term market uncertainty exists in some of our sectors, our strategic focus has put us in a strong position to benefit from longer-term growth. As urbanisation increases, infrastructure spending across the globe is predicted to grow significantly in the medium-term and we are well placed to benefit from this investment.”

He also believes that companies like his will benefit from the creation of the National Infrastructure Commission in the UK as it will “harness cross party political support to gain certainty around the infrastructure pipeline”.

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