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Atkins reports record profits despite big Metronet hit

Atkins has reported record profits £76.6M but has revealed an exceptional loss of £121.3M relating to its shareholding in London Underground contractor Metronet.
The consultant reported an operating profit of £76.6M on total revenue of £1.26bn and an operating margin of 6.1% for the year to 31 March 2007.The 'record results' were tempered by an exceptional loss of £121.3M due to Atkins shareholding in the Metronet Public Private Partnership of London Underground which has heavily overspent.Metronet's main shareholder, contractor Balfour Beatty, today posted a trading update in which it warned investors it was likely suffer an exceptional loss of roughly £100M when it reports its annual results.Despite Atkins' troubles with Metronet, the group reported closing net funds of £199M. Atkins' headcount has continued to grow, increasing by 1,900 to 16,800.'The group performed well last year, with revenue up 20% and normalised profit before taxation up by 19%,' said Atkins. 'The result was driven by substantial growth in the Middle East, good performance from our design and engineering solutions and highways and transportation segments; and the recovery in the workload of our rail segment.'The group has raised a further £46.5M with the sale of its UK based property business Lambert Smith Hampton to De Facto Limited, a company backed by LSH management and Bank of Scotland. The consultant said that the business, that employs 950 people and has profits before tax of £7.3M on turnover of £81M, concluded the sale of Atkins' non core businesses.

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