Source - RNS
RNS Number : 1422L
Atkins (WS) PLC
29 September 2016

Atkins trading in line with expectations


WS Atkins plc ("Atkins" or the "Group"), the design, engineering and project management consultancy, today provides an update on trading in advance of its half-year results for the six months ending 30 September 2016, which will be announced on 17 November 2016.


Group performance


The Group's overall first half performance, including positive currency effects, is expected to be in line with expectations.  We remain confident for the second half, despite continued uncertainty and volatility in some of our markets.


United Kingdom and Europe


Our UK and Europe business is expected to deliver a good first half result, reflecting both strong infrastructure markets and our continued focus on operational excellence. In this financial year, in a continued drive for operational efficiencies, we have combined our design and engineering and water, ground and environment business units into a new infrastructure division, and also integrated Scandinavia into our Transportation business.


To date, the EU Referendum result has had minimal impact on our highly diversified UK and Europe business.


North America


Our North American business has enjoyed a particularly good first half. We have fully mobilised resources on the Purple Line light rail project in Maryland and our work on project NEON, our transportation project for the Nevada Department of Transportation, has progressed well. Our focus is now on the successful delivery of these two key projects and securing other major infrastructure opportunities within our pipeline.


The forthcoming presidential election is likely to bring a period of uncertainty and while we do not expect to see a short term benefit from the five-year Transportation Bill, our work on the Purple Line and project NEON will help us to deliver good volume growth and margin progression this year. 


Middle East


Our design work on Riyadh Metro in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Doha Metro Gold Line in Qatar has continued through the first half. As mentioned previously, we were pleased to secure a number of contracts in the property market during the period, although some of these have been a little slow to mobilise. The transport and infrastructure markets have been more challenging, with a number of significant award delays.


As we have seen no improvement in the liquidity situation during the period, cash collection remains a key focus on our various projects across the region.


Asia Pacific


Our Asia Pacific business has traded in line with our expectations in the first half of the financial year. As noted previously, we have seen some early signs of an improvement in the property market in mainland China, although we remain cautious as to whether this improvement will be sustained.


Our strategy of geographic diversification continues, supported further by our new Acuity business which is currently focused on opportunities in both South East Asia and the Middle East.




The trading environment for our oil and gas businesses in the UK and North America remains very challenging and during the period we have taken further steps to proactively adjust our resources. By contrast, our Middle East oil and gas business has continued to trade well in the period.


The recent green light on the Hinkley Point C new build nuclear project is a very positive step for the nuclear industry in the UK and an encouraging signal of commitment from the government to building crucial energy infrastructure. Elsewhere in our nuclear business, the integration of the PP&T acquisition is progressing well, although product sales to Japan, associated with treatment of decontaminated water at the Fukashima site, have been slower than anticipated through the first half.




The Group's overall first half performance, including positive currency effects, is expected to be in line with expectations.  We remain confident for the second half, despite continued uncertainty and volatility in some of our markets.








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 ( is one of the world's most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, employing over 18,000 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.       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.


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange