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Atkins sees UK revenues rise 16%

14 Nov 13 Consulting engineer WS Atkins has reported growth in its profits and revenues on the back of an upturn in UK activity.

Atkins CEO Uwe Krueger
Atkins CEO Uwe Krueger

In the six months to 30 September 2013 Atkins saw its group revenue reach £915.1m, up 12% on last year’s £815.7m. Underlying profit before tax, excluding disposals, was up 8% to £44.7m.

During the period Atkins sold its UK highways services business to Skanska and the Peter Brown construction management business in North America to Moss.

Booked pre-tax profit was £54.8m (2012 H1: £47.8m).

Revenue from the UK increased 16% to £488.4m and operating profit was up nearly 6% to £26.2m. Margins were down slightly from 5.9% last year to 5.4% this time.

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The company's results statement said: “The UK business has seen strong revenue performance across all sectors supported by underlying head count growth of 8%, after adjusting for the sale of highways services. The margin reduction is a function of bidding costs on significant contracts, and a prudent approach to margin recognition on major contracts.”

It added: “The outlook for our UK and Europe business as a whole remains strong, with secured work in hand of 87% (2012: 89%) of this year's forecast revenue.  We continue our focus on higher margin work within our target market segments and, reflecting the high level of current opportunities, we expect further underlying headcount growth through the second half of the year.”

For the group as a whole, the full year outlook is slightly ahead of expectations.

Chief executive Uwe Krueger said: "The group has made further progress on delivering our strategy, achieving good results with revenue up over 12% and underlying operating profit up over 10% on the same period last year. We have a strong balance sheet and cash collection in the period was encouraging. This, combined with our new banking facilities, gives us the ability to support growth, both organically and through targeted acquisitions. Our work in hand position on entering the second half gives us confidence for the full year."

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