Consultant says it is on track for good results, as it mulls SNC-Lavalin’s takeover offer

Takeover target Atkins is on track for good results for the financial year to last month, the firm has said in a trading update.

The London stock exchange-listed consultant, which generates around half of its £1.9bn revenue outside the UK, said it was continuing to benefit from the weaker pound, which was inflating profits converted from overseas.

Atkins said its major markets in the UK and North America has shown “good progress” over the full year, while market conditions in the Middle East and Asia Pacific were “broadly unchanged”. In energy, the firm said it was “encouraged by the early signs of stabilisation in the oil and gas market”.

The firm’s expectations for its full-year results remain unchanged.

The trading update comes as Atkins considers a £2bn indicative takeover offer from Candian engineering giant SNC-Lavalin.

SNC-Lavalin has 35,000 staffworldwide and turned over C$8.5bn (£5.1bn) in 2016.

The tie-up would create a 53,050-strong global firm with revenue close to £7bn.

Atkins has said it was ready to recommend the deal subject to certain conditions being met.

SNC-Lavalin has until 1 May to make a firm offer, but analysts have urged the Canadian firm to wrap up the deal swiftly if it is to avoid counter-offers coming in.