However, the company anticipated the economic downturn, shedding nearly 1,000 jobs, and increased its operating margin from 6.9% in the same period last year to 7.3%.
Atkins’ international spread insulated it to some extent from the ravages of the UK economy, although profits in its highways and transportation division fell 42.5% to £6.9m despite turnover growing 2% to £146.3m. This was attributed a change inbusiness mix “with a greater proportion of revenue from our lower margin highway services business which benefitted from the new contracts in Oxfordshire and on the M25. These compensated for declining revenues in our higher margin consultancy businesses where we have experienced a reduction in demand as clients cancelled or suspended a number of existing programmes pending the outcome of the UK government spending review.”
Commenting on the results, chief executive Keith Clarke said: “These good results demonstrate our resilience as we have continued to perform in challenging conditions. We have anticipated difficult markets and continue to take timely action to ensure we are in the best position to respond to our clients' changing needs. The scale, breadth and depth of our technical skills and our more balanced geographic footprint mean we are well positioned for future growth."