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Tube PPP delays hit Atkins

Delays to the London Underground PPP capital works programme are hampering WS Atkin's performance, the firm warned today.
Atkins is part of the Metronet consortium with Balfour Beatty and Bombardier running two of the three deals to upgrade the Tube.

But the firm's chief executive Keith Clarke warned in the firm's interims: 'The group's results from Metronet for the six months to September were impacted by delays to the capital programme, by inconsistent operational performance and restructuring costs.

'The performance of the capital programme has also affected the results of our supply chain.'

'The recovery of the capital programme and the improvement of the day to day operational performance of the Underground remain crucial to the eventual success and realisation of value from the project.'

Metronet overhauled its management team earlier this year in response to the delays and is reviewing the capital programme.

But Mr Clarke added: 'Whilst progress has been made over the last six months, it will take some time to evidence any significant recovery. As previously stated, these issues must be satisfactorily addressed if the group's returns from Metronet are not to be impacted at all levels, including the final value of the investment.'

Elsewhere Atkins showed strong performance in its core markets driven by public sector spending and said that the firm was well-placed to pick up work from the Olympics.

Pre-tax profits edged up 9 per cent to £28.2 million from £26 million, while turnover increased 11 per cent to £516.1 million.

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