Atkins has boosted its profit margin and is on course to hit its 8 per cent target following a major reorganisation of the business.
In the engineering giant’s first set of financial results since it merged its six UK divisions into four larger groupings, Atkins grew its underlying operating profit by 15.2 per cent and its underlying pre-tax profit by 14.6 per cent.
Revenue was relatively flat for 2014/15, standing at £1.76bn, but pre-tax profit was down 6.6 per cent, falling from £114.2m to £106.7m.
Atkins put the profit fall down to exceptional costs totalling £15.6m, including one transactional loss of £4.4m.
Its underlying pre-tax profit, stripping out exceptional costs, was up 14.6 per cent to £121.9m.
In a statement to the stock market this morning, group chief executive Uwe Krueger said Atkins was making progress “towards our 8 per cent [margin] goal and the outlook remains positive”.
In the UK, revenue was down 9.4 per cent from £922m to £835.6m but profit grew slightly to £59.4m and operating margin was up to 7.1 per cent.
Its relatively flat UK performance was blamed on a decline in its aerospace business and several contract variations.
In its statement this morning, it said: “Our aerospace business faced a market downturn in the year and profitability was further impacted by a number of outstanding contract variation negotiations in our UK rail business, which have now been largely resolved.
“During the first half, we also right-sized our water and environment business.
“By contrast, our highways and transportation and design and engineering businesses continue to benefit from the UK government’s maintained focus on infrastructure investment, and performed strongly during the year.”
The group’s UK and Europe chief executive David Tonkin also stepped down to be replaced by Nick Roberts, who stepped up from his role as strategy and growth director for the North America region.