Consultant says that contract wins in design group will help push 2006 profit towards the upper end of expectations.

WS Atkins has announced that its financial results for 2006 will be at the high end of expectations.

In a trading statement the multi-disciplinary consultancy group said it had "performed well" for the year ended March 31.

The WS Atkins board said that the group would make further progress in 20076/7 due to a strong order book and opportunities in all its markets.

The Design and Engineering Solutions Group was boosted by its selection as one of three Tier 1 consultants for the engineering and infrastructure development of the Olympic park site. It also had contract wins with the Carbon Trust, DEFRA and the British Nuclear Group.

WS Atkins said its Rail business had benefited from a second half recovery in its Network Rail related activities.

The group anticipated further growth in its Middle East business and said that Management and Project Services was trading strongly. In Equity Investments, the group said the operational performance of Metronet was broadly satisfactory.

WS Atkins said it would announce its preliminary results on 20 June 2006.