Tough conditions

Global design and engineering group, WS Atkins, has announced that its full-year performance will be in line with expectations, but warns of tough market conditions ahead.


Global design and engineering group, WS Atkins, has announced that its full-year performance will be in line with expectations, but warns of tough market conditions ahead.


In its quarter three Interim Management Statement, the group reported a good performance with the majority of markets remaining stable. However, it noted that there has been no sign of recovery in the UK building market, with confidence also lost in the Middle East.


In response to this, the group has made around 1,200 redundancies in the past financial year at an estimated cost of £10m. This loss has been compounded by the pension deficit, which has increased to approximately £215m from £154m a year earlier.


Cash collection has worsened by approximately £25m in the past three months and Atkins expects this to continue in the next few months. However, the company’s cash generation remains strong and is forecast to stand at more than £225m.


Overall, the company said that its order book remains solid and that it is confident of addressing the challenges in the year ahead.