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WS Atkins warns on Metronet performance

Metronet, in which WS Atkins has a stake, has its work cut out to pull back big delays on its capital works programme if the first seven-and-a-half year returns of the deal are to remain on track.
Metronet is in its second year of upgrading two thirds of the London Underground network including the Bakerloo, Central, Victoria, Waterloo & City lines and the Metropolitan, district, Circle, Hammersmith & City and East London Lines.

Metronet has made a provision of £14 million for the potential late delivery of station improvements, of which Atkins' share is around £3 million

Reporting its full year results to the city this morning, WS Atkins said prospects for the business overall remain good.

A strong performance at WS Atkin's design and engineering arm in the year ending March 31 2005 helped the company balance a downturn in rail work and losses on a number of facilities management contracts.

Profits before tax during the year fell 3 per cent to £60.1 million from £62 million last time on a turnover broadly flat at £955 million up less than 1 per cent from £950.4 million.

The figures take into account a pension fund deficit, amortisation, goodwill and exceptional items. Adjusted pre-tax profits rose by 31 per cent to £73.6 million up from £56.2 million a year earlier.

Atkins said its focus on improving margins in core markets had been successful increasing to 5.9 percent from 4.9 per cent last time.

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