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Atkins trading in line with expectations

WS Atkins plc (“Atkins” or the “Group”), the design, engineering and project management consultancy, today provides its third quarter trading update for the period from 1 October 2016 to date.

Group performance

The Group has traded in line with expectations during the period, with continued currency benefits as anticipated, and the outlook for the full year remains unchanged.

United Kingdom and Europe (51% of FY16 revenue)

Trading performance in our UK and Europe business has continued strongly through the third quarter, with good delivery on a number of projects in the period. We continue to address strong, albeit competitive, markets as the Government supports infrastructure projects in energy, high speed rail, highways and airports.

During the period we were pleased to complete the sale of our minority PFI investment in the M25 motorway to Edge Orbital Holdings 2 Limited, for a cash consideration of £66.3m.

North America (19% of FY16 revenue)

Our North American business has enjoyed another good trading period, buoyed by transportation work on Project NEON and our design of the Purple Line light rail project. We continue to expect the business to deliver strong revenue growth and an improved operating margin for the full year. Looking beyond this, we are encouraged by the proposed level of infrastructure spend and are focused on securing larger scale opportunities.

Middle East (13% of FY16 revenue)

The performance of our Middle East region has been in line with our expectations during the third quarter. Challenging market conditions remain, though we expect to continue to deliver to expectations for the year as a whole. While we remain cautious around the outlook for the region, given competitive markets and ongoing uncertainty as to the timing of pipeline opportunities, our strong market position and reputation for successful delivery continue to serve us well.

Asia Pacific (6% of FY16 revenue)

The performance of our Asia Pacific region has been stable in the period. We have recently secured some additional design packages of work on the third runway at Hong Kong International Airport and architectural wins in southeast Asia.

Energy (11% of FY16 revenue)

Our nuclear business, which represents around 70% of our energy segment, has performed well in the period. We are encouraged to see an improved project flow at Sellafield and the US Tier 1 decommissioning market is developing well for us, following the acquisition of PP&T. Elsewhere, there are early, encouraging signs of a stabilisation in the oil and gas market.

Balance sheet

The Group’s financial position remains strong.

Outlook

The Group has traded in line with expectations during the period, with continued currency benefits as anticipated, and the outlook for the full year remains unchanged. We are confident that our focus on differentiation in nuclear, digital innovation and advisory will deliver further growth into next year and beyond.

The Group will publish a pre close trading update on 12 April 2017.

Ends

Enquiries

Heath Drewett
Group finance director
+44 (0) 20 7121 2000
Kate Moy
Investor relations director
+44 (0) 20 7121 2000
Matt Graydon
Group PR director
+44 (0) 20 7121 2000

1. Notes to editors
Atkins (www.atkinsglobal.com) is one of the world's most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, employing some 18,300 people across the UK, North America, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Europe. We build long term trusted partnerships to create a world where lives are enriched through the implementation of our ideas. You can view Atkins’ recent projects on our website.

2. Analyst Conference Call
A conference call for analysts will be held at 0800 hours today. Dial-in details are available on +44 (0) 20 7353 4200.

3. Cautionary statement
This announcement has been prepared for the shareholders of Atkins as a whole and its sole purpose and use is to assist shareholders to exercise their governance rights. In particular, this announcement has not been audited or otherwise independently verified and no warranty is given as to its accuracy or completeness (other than any such warranty which is mandatorily implied by statute). Atkins and its directors and employees are not responsible for any other purpose or use or to any other person in relation to this announcement and their responsibility to shareholders shall be limited to that which is imposed by statute.

This announcement contains indications of likely future developments and other forward looking statements that are subject to risk factors associated with, among other things, the economic and business circumstances occurring from time to time in the countries, sectors and business segments in which the Group operates. These and other factors could adversely affect the Group’s results, strategy and prospects. Forward looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. They relate to events and/or depend on circumstances in the future which could cause actual results and outcomes to differ materially from those currently expected. No obligation is assumed to update any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Nothing in this announcement should be construed as a profit forecast.