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Atkins reports 7 per cent drop in UK staff

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Multidisciplinary giant Atkins has revealed a seven per cent fall in the number of UK staff it employs to 9,640, while announcing it has now reached a ‘position for growth’

The interantional company, which reported a 5.3 per cent fall in revenue and 900 job losses in November, claimed it had achieved ‘good results in a transformational year’ as it unveiled its full results for the last financial year today.

Despite the UK staff decrease, across the group average total staff numbers increased 12.3 per cent 17,522 while average staff numbers increased one per cent to 16,582. The UK highways division received the largest job cuts.

Atkins chief executive Keith Clarke declined to speculate when the company would return to hiring architects in the UK but said: ‘The UK has quite a long recession ahead of it, it would be foolishly optimistic to think the economy will come back in any significant way in the next two years.’

Confirming the UK staff decrease was due to ‘natural wastage’ and redundancies, Clarke said: ‘We are in fact importing work from the Middle East to stabilise our staff numbers here.’

As many as 450 people outside of the Middle East are assisting the company’s Jeddah Airport scheme including 50 workers in the United States, said Clarke.

In a statement he added: ‘Our focus remains on managing head count to meet the anticipated market demand for our services, driving efficiency in our operations through cost reductions, and supplementing skills with niche acquisitions where appropriate.’

UK revenue was down 6 per cent at £926 million for the period up to March while group turnover witnessed a 12.7 per cent increase to £1.56 billion.

The company’s underlying profit margin increased by 7.5 per cent to £118.7 million.

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