Engineer says it reduced the number of employees to 17,500 over last six months

WS Atkins has revealed it cut its headcount by 1,000 since September 30 2010..

In a trading update the consultant engineer said it had adjusted resources to meet anticipated market demand.

Employment rose to 18,500 after the acquisition of US  business PBSJ, but in the update for the year ended 31 March 2011 Atkins said it had 17,500 employees.

The group reported challenging market conditions in the UK, but said it was trading ahead of market expectations in the Middle East due to rising activity in the second half and the recovery of client payments.

Atkins said it expected to have net funds at 31 March 2011 in excess of £120 million.