Consultant Atkins is anticipating results ahead of market expectations whilst reducing its headcount by 200 in its latest preliminary trading update.
Atkins reports it has traded well through the fourth quarter, in particular due to the performance of the Middle East business, and is now anticipating reporting results for the year ended 31 March 2011 ahead of current market expectations.
Atkins added that its “UK business continues to navigate challenging market conditions and is performing in line with our expectations.”
“Our US acquisition, The PBSJ Corporation, which was rebranded Atkins on 1 April 2011, has also traded in line with our expectations during the first six months of our ownership, marking a return to previous performance levels.”
“The Group’s operations in the Middle East have benefited from increasing activity in the second half of the year, together with further recovery of client payments against which we had previously provided.”
Atkins said it expects a headcount of around 17,500. In February’s trading update headcount was expected to be around 17,700.
“The Group’s financial position remains strong and our sustained focus on cash is expected to result in net funds at 31 March 2011 in excess of £120M.”
“With our focused portfolio of businesses across a number of geographic markets, the Group is well placed for the year ahead.”