SHARES IN consultants plunged last week amid fears about their future profits.
Factors hitting consultants included a wide ranging stock market slide that saw billions of pounds wiped off share values last week.
Hardest hit was WS Atkins, whose shares plunged to a five year low. Last Friday Atkins shares were trading at 284p, compared with a high of 790p.
Observers pointed to uncertainty about the group's forthcoming results, after their publication was delayed from 26 June to 25 July.
Atkins' long term finance director Ric Piper has also announced that he is leaving the group. Atkins said this week that it would produce results in line with expectations.
Last week WSP shares were also trading at a 12 month low of 143p, down from a high of 444p. Earlier this month it had warned that difficult trading conditions would hit profits.
Stock market newcomer Mouchel's shares were trading at 132p, unchanged from their 26 June flotation price. Contractors involved in major outsourcing contracts were also hit.
By Friday Carillion's shares had plunged to 140p compared to a 12 month high of 231p, after it announced that it was to start accounting for the cost of negotiating privately financed infrastructure projects. It said the change would knock £12M off operating profits over the next two years.
Amey shares tumbled after it said that profits were suffering because of delays to the signing of the PPP deal to upgrade London's Underground. It is part of the Tubelines consortium.
Amey has also started accounting for bid costs on private finance projects. Its shares were trading at 94p last Thursday compared with a 12 month high of 414p.