Firm scales back water operations but energy work looks set to grow

WS Atkins’s performance and financial position remain in line with expectations, the group said in an interim management statement released today.

The firm said in a statement that the results from1 October to date show an “ongoing focus on working capital delivering a strong cash flow performance in the period.”

Despite turbulent times, the group added that it had continued to perform strongly but admitted it has had to adapt its design and engineering solutions business where it has scaled back its water operations due to the reduced workload requirements of UK water companies.

The statement added that the group’s energy business is expected to grow in the coming months to meet the increased demand for expertise in the nuclear and renewables sectors.

The group’s highways and transportation and rail services have remained steady, according to the statement, and Atkins’s Middle East business has continued to trade well since October “despite the ongoing liquidity issues that emerged in the region in November”.

The statement added: “With just under 2,000 people now working in the Middle East, we are focused on extending both our geographic reach and sector skills as we expand our multidisciplinary presence in the region. Our Europe and China businesses are progressing in line with our expectations, with our rail business in Hong Kong remaining particularly busy.”

The firm’s overall outlook for the coming months based on the results from October is positive: “We continue to take the necessary steps to navigate successfully in difficult market conditions and our early action has positioned the business well for the future.”