Atkins continues to see currency benefits

WS Atkins said it has traded in line with expectations since the beginning of October with continued currency benefits as anticipated, and the outlook for the full year remains unchanged.

The group said trading performance in its UK and Europe business - which accounted for 51% of FY16 revenue - continued strongly through the third quarter, with good delivery on a number of projects in the period.

It added: "We continue to address strong, albeit competitive, markets as the Government supports infrastructure projects in energy, high speed rail, highways and airports.

"During the period we were pleased to complete the sale of our minority PFI investment in the M25 motorway to Edge Orbital Holdings 2 Limited, for a cash consideration of £66.3m."

An update continued: "Our North American business has enjoyed another good trading period, buoyed by transportation work on Project NEON and our design of the Purple Line light rail project. We continue to expect the business to deliver strong revenue growth and an improved operating margin for the full year.

"Looking beyond this, we are encouraged by the proposed level of infrastructure spend and are focused on securing larger scale opportunities.

"The performance of our Middle East region has been in line with our expectations during the third quarter.

"Challenging market conditions remain, though we expect to continue to deliver to expectations for the year as a whole.

"While we remain cautious around the outlook for the region, given competitive markets and ongoing uncertainty as to the timing of pipeline opportunities, our strong market position and reputation for successful delivery continue to serve us well.

"The performance of our Asia Pacific region has been stable in the period. We have recently secured some additional design packages of work on the third runway at Hong Kong International Airport and architectural wins in southeast Asia.

"The performance of our Asia Pacific region has been stable in the period. We have recently secured some additional design packages of work on the third runway at Hong Kong International Airport and architectural wins in southeast Asia."

Looking ahead, the group said: "We are confident that our focus on differentiation in nuclear, digital innovation and advisory will deliver further growth into next year and beyond."