Atkins sees revenues rise despite drop in UK business

Engineering consultancy Atkins, which is heavily involved in the London 2012 Olympic Games, has seen revenues rise despite a shrink in UK business.

The company’s preliminary end-of-year results revealed a revenue increase from £1.56bn to £1.71bn in 2011–12, with more than 50 per cent now coming from abroad as the company continues with its diversification strategy.

Annual UK revenue for the company, which is the official engineering design services provider for this year’s Olympics, dropped 7.2 per cent compared with the previous year, from £926.5m to £859.9m, while operating profit fell 16 per cent from £61.4m to £51.6m.

The UK currently accounts for 40–45 per cent of the company’s total revenue but this is set to fall to 25 per cent in three years’ time as its workforce takes on jobs overseas.

David Tonkins, Atkins UK regional managing director, told The Engineer: ‘We have set out as a group to grow our international capability in excess of the UK to rebalance the company geographically.’

Tonkins explained that the company has seen particularly strong growth in Hong Kong, China, the Middle East and Scandinavia.

‘The very fact that we see the increase in our headcount vacancy list gives us an indication of how we see the UK having a reasonable confidence over the year coming,’ said Tonkins, pointing to the fact there are currently 1,200 active UK vacancies on the company website, compared with 500 a year ago.

The company is also confident the £400m seven-year railway signalling deal with Network Rail will put it in good stead going forward.

UK staff numbers fell from 9,640 to 8,924 but overall staff numbers increased from 16,978 to 17,420.

Tonkins said the £5m sale in October 2011 of Sodexo, its UK asset management business, which employed around 550 staff, accounted for 29 per cent of the reduction in revenue and the majority of the headcount reduction. Others were people leaving from the previous year’s redundancy programme.