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Atkins battles to convince investors that billing debacle is over

ATKINS THIS week faced scepticism from investors that it had almost solved computer problems that had stopped it from billing clients properly.

KBC Peel Hunt analyst Stephen Rawlinson said that if the company was still having to deal with the computer problems he doubted whether it knew precisely how much it was owed.

The company last week claimed it had 'stopped the rot' in the malfunctioning system that has plunged the firm into loss.

Earlier this month Atkins' share price collapsed after the company shocked the stock market with an announcement that it will make a £5M first half pretax loss as a result of problems with the accounts system.

Chief executive Robin Southwell resigned as the news broke.

Chairman Mike Jeffries has taken over his role until a replacement is found (News last week).

'The first thing he has to do is make sure he has still got a good business, ' said Rawlinson.

'This means retaining employees and customers and getting a credible set of accounts.'

Pressure on the company increased further on Wednesday with news that Daily Mirror publisher Trinity Mirror had gone back on its decision to recruit Atkins finance director Ric Piper.

Piper left Atkins on Tuesday last week after announcing his departure in June. He was due to start work at Trinity Mirror on Wednesday. Instead Trinity announced that he would not take up the post.

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