Consultant and engineer Atkins is taking on new staff and has posted a solid performance for the first half of the year
Posting results for the half year to 30 September 2012, the firm said pre-tax profits fell slightly to £43.9m from £46.4m for the same period last year, while turnover was down from £842.9m to £815.7m.
The firm said it was boosted by its 2012 Olympics involvement, with staff numbers up by 3% to 17,756.
Uwe Krueger, Atkins chief executive, said: “The Group has delivered encouraging results in line with our expectations, with the sector and geographic spread of our business continuing to provide resilience in challenging markets.
“Implementation of our strategy continues and the outlook for the full year remains unchanged.
“We are pleased to be recruiting again and, in particular, are delighted to welcome over 500 graduates to the Group this autumn.
“We have been proud to be the official engineering design services provider to the London 2012 Olympic Games. This project leaves an important regeneration legacy in London and is proving to be a valuable reference for both business development and staff recruitment.”
Atkins is currently seeking to fill 1,200 vacancies and David Tonkin, UK chief executive of Atkins, said he expected headcount at the firm to grow by up to 5% over the next 12 months.
Tonkin said the business had doubled its intake of graduates from 120 in 2011 to 240 in 2012 and that he expected to take on 350 next year.
He did not rule out the possibility of further divestments from the business but said: “We are constantly looking at how our portfolio is performing. I never rule in or out changing the mix.” He added he was happy with the current performance of the business portfolio.
Tonkin said the firm’s work on the Olympics had had a positive effect on its reputation both at home and abroad. He said that Atkins was now bidding on “a number of brown field site projects” in the UK where it was seeking to leverage its experience on cleaning up the highly polluted Olympic park site.