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Sun September 20 2020

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Atkins says UK market is still difficult

3 Aug 11 Engineering consultancy group WS Atkins says that the UK trading environment remains tough.

However, it anticipates no significant further headcount reduction as UK offices help to support the firm’s Middle East operations, where there is a lot of bidding activity, particularly in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

In a training statement for the last four months, Atkins said: “Our UK business operates in a number of well-funded end markets although, as expected, the trading environment remains difficult.”

Following significant restructuring last year, its highways and transportation business had begun the year well with increased visibility of demand for its services.  There had been a modest increase in activity in the letting of new commissions, extensions to current contracts and the use of existing and new frameworks.

Atkins’ water business also continued to benefit from increased activity under the various AMP5 investment programmes.

The group's financial position remains strong.  As anticipated, higher working capital requirements in the first quarter, together with acquisition costs of £15m in the period, resulted in net funds of around £75m at the end of June. 

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