Atkins has posted results for 2008 at the top end of City forecasts, thanks to rapid growth in the Middle East.

Over the 12 months to 31 March, the group increased pre-tax profit by 24% from £74.1m to £91.9m and said it had not yet felt the impact of the credit crunch.

Turnover rose 11% from £1.18bn to £1.31bn. Keith Clarke, Atkins’ chief executive, said: “While there is of course uncertainty about some of the economies in which we operate, we have not seen any sign of reduction in activity.”

Atkins said operating margins had risen from 5.7% to 6.6%, and that it expected this to continue.

It said the Middle East market had been buoyed by the high price of oil. Turnover in the region increased 41% from £79.3m to £112.2m and operating profit rose 36% from £7m to £9.5m.

Elsewhere, turnover in China edged up 3% to £30m and the European market brought in £50m, up 22% from £41m last year.

Francesca Raleigh, an analyst at Numis, said the results were a good sign for the engineering consultancy sector.

Ed Steele at Citigroup said the fact the company operated in “relatively defensive” areas such as the public sector and regulated industry meant the outlook was reassuring.