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Atkins says Dubai is set to weaken

Engineering consultancy Atkins expects growth in Dubai to drop off following a significant hike in revenues in the region in the past six months.

According to its half-year results to 30 September, the group’s Dubai division increased revenue by 55 per cent year-on-year, to £82 million, and its staff numbers grew by 19 per cent, to almost 3,000.

But in a statement, it said the Dubai market was now looking weaker and that it would focus more of its energies on the “stronger” Abu Dhabi region.

It said: “The outlook [for Dubai] is for continued growth albeit at a reduced level.”

Atkins said it was also optimistic about improved market share within China. The group told shareholders: “We continue to see strong demand for our rail and tunnelling skills as a result of the ongoing investment in the Hong Kong rail market.”

Atkins last week posted an 11 per cent rise in pre-tax profit for the half-year. The rise came as revenue grew by 12 per cent to a total of £710.8 million.