Pre-tax profits at AJ100 firm Atkins have soared by more than 20 per cent over the past year and the company’s target of an 8 per cent margin has been achieved, according to new financial results
In the 12 months to 31 March 2016, pre-tax profits at the design and engineering firm reached £131.1 million, up 22.9 per cent on the £106.7million in the same period the year before.
Revenue at Atkins, one of the biggest employers of architects in Britain, rose 6 per cent to £1.86 billion.
In a statement, the company said: ‘We are delighted to have achieved our 8 per cent operating margin target against headwinds in certain markets. These are good results with strong growth in profitability.’ It added: ‘Overall, we remain confident for the year ahead despite continued uncertainty in some of our markets.’
The global giant cited Britain as one of those areas, with the EU referendum contributing to ‘short-term uncertainty’.
However the company claimed there had been ‘good growth’ in the UK and Europe because of the ‘well-funded infrastructure market across rail, highways, water, education and airports.’
Atkins added: ‘[The] UK government infrastructure spend continues to provide an attractive pipeline of opportunities.’
UK and Europe revenue in the year to 31 March 2016 was up 4 per cent to £946.3 million, with operating profit up 21.6 per cent – reaching £73.8 million. A series of government-funded infrastructure projects are credited as having helped drive up revenues and profits. And in April this year the firm merged its water, ground and environment businesses with its design and engineering arms to create a new infrastructure division, to help it ‘cross-sell’ skills and expertise into transport and energy sectors.
Looking ahead, the company warns of ‘a risk in the medium and longer term of a shortage of professional technical staff in our industry’. It added: ‘We believe that the availability of talented engineers and scientists from Europe without restrictions means that it is in our best interests for the UK to remain within the EU.’
Commenting on the forthcoming EU Referendum, Nick Roberts, Atkins’ chief executive for UK & Europe, told the AJ: ‘We’re watching the developments around the EU referendum with interest.
It’s in the company’s best interests for the UK to remain in the EU
‘Although we believe it’s in the company’s best interests for the UK to remain in the European Union, it’s ultimately a decision for the British people, and trying to second guess the impact of a result would be speculation. The important thing for us is to remain agile and responsive.’
Atkins key data - #10 in AJ100
- Number of qualified architects in UK: 116
- Total fee per UK architect: £258,621
- Age of practice: 78
- Female architects: 31 per cent
- Black, Asian and minority ethnic architects: Undisclosed
- Design awards won in 2015: Undisclosed