Atkins' interim results reveal that it lost £400,000 on tube maintenance consortium

Support services group Atkins has lost £400,000 on the troubled Metronet Enterprise consortium, which has contributed to a £1.4m decline in the group's pre-tax profit for the six months to 30 September.

Announcing its interim results, the group said the conclusions of an independent report last week, which slammed the tube maintenance firm Metronet for being behind schedule, were to be expected.

In a statement chief executive Keith Clarke said: “The Metronet Enterprise continues to impact the Group's results and has contributed a £1.4m reduction in profit before tax compared to the same period last year.

"The conclusion in the arbiter's recent report that Metronet was not performing in an economic and efficient manner, was as expected. Whilst some improvements have been made, much still remains to be done to enable Metronet to achieve its goal of being economic and efficient overall at the end of the first review period in September 2010.

“The recovery in the performance of the Metronet Enterprise remains crucial to its eventual success and the realisation of Atkins' returns. We are working with all of Metronet's stakeholders to review the current arrangements to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of delivery.”

Metronet, which is facing a bill of £750m in cost overruns, is responsible for the maintenance of all London Underground lines except the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly.

The consortium is made up of five companies: Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Bombardier, EDF Energy and Thames Water. Atkins has 750 people working on the project.

Excluding the results from Metronet, the group said pre-tax profit from continuing operations and continuing joint ventures was up 9% to £30.9m on the same period last year.

It said revenue has increased 17% to £605.5m, driven by growth in the Middle East and the recovery of the UK rail market where it had won several signalling contracts.

The results also showed work in hand remains strong with 88% of forecast year end revenue secured.