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News releases 2017

PDF, 865KB - opens in a new window View the Results for the year ended 31 March 2017 as a PDF.

PDF, 368KB - opens in a new window View the presentation as a PDF.

View the webcast View the webcast

View the video interview with Uwe

A year of strong financial and strategic progress

Design, engineering and project management consultancy WS Atkins plc (Atkins) today announces its preliminary results for the year ended 31 March 2017.

  Note 2017 2016 Change
Income Statement        
Revenue   £2,081.5m £1,861.9m 11.8%
Underlying operating profit 1 £171.5m £148.2m 15.7%
Underlying operating margin 2 8.2% 8.0% 0.2pp
Underlying profit before tax 3 £164.6m £139.0m 18.4%
Underlying diluted EPS 4 124.2p 107.3p 15.8%
Statutory operating profit   £154.1m £143.4m 7.5%
Statutory operating margin   7.4% 7.7% (0.3)pp
Statutory profit before tax   £147.7m £131.1m 12.7%
Statutory diluted EPS   129.9p 103.0p 26.1%
Staff numbers at 31 March 5 18,308 18,052 1.4%
Average staff numbers   18,352 18,416 (0.3)%
Operating cash flow   £100.4m £116.1m (13.5)%
Net (debt)/funds 6 £(6.1)m £191.7m  
Work in hand 7 43% 44% (1.0)pp

Financial highlights

  • Revenue up 11.8% to £2.08bn, up 4.3% on a constant currency basis
  • Underlying operating profit up 15.7%, 8.2% margin
  • Underlying profit before tax up 18.4% to £164.6m
  • Underlying diluted EPS up 15.8%, no full year dividend given recommended SNC-Lavalin offer
  • Strong balance sheet with net debt of £6.1m at 31 March 2017

Operational summary

  • Strong UK and Europe performance, 9.9% operating margin
  • Significant growth in North America supported by major projects
  • Performance in Middle East in line with expectations in challenging markets
  • Some encouraging progress in southeast Asia
  • Improving performance in Energy during the year – PP&T nuclear acquisition completed in April 2016
  • Investment phase for new growth initiatives, Atkins Acuity and digital

“We delivered a strong set of results this year with underlying profit before tax improving by 18.4% to £164.6m. Our underlying operating margin continued to improve and we delivered revenue growth on a constant currency basis of 4.3%, underpinned by the acquisition of PP&T in 2016. We believe that the Group is in a strong position to execute on its growth strategy going forward.”

On 20 April 2017 the boards of directors of WS Atkins plc (Atkins) and SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. (SNC-Lavalin) announced that they had reached agreement on the terms and conditions of a recommended offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Atkins by SNC-Lavalin of 2,080 pence in cash per ordinary share of Atkins. Subject to the approval of shareholders and the Court, and to the satisfaction or (where applicable) waiver of the other conditions, the transaction is expected to become effective on 3 July 2017. As set out in the scheme document published by Atkins on 18 May 2017, the Kenya and the United States merger control conditions to the offer have been satisfied. In addition, the Botswana Competition Authority has, pursuant to the provisions of section 60 of the Competition Act 2009, unconditionally approved the proposed acquisition. Accordingly, the Botswana merger control condition in respect of the offer is satisfied.


  1. Underlying operating profit is profit before exceptional items, impairment of goodwill and intangibles, amortisation of acquired intangibles and deferred acquisition payments.
  2. Underlying operating margin is the value of underlying operating profit expressed as a percentage of revenue.
  3. Underlying profit before tax additionally excludes net profit on disposal of businesses of £0.5m (2016: loss £3.1m).
  4. Underlying diluted EPS is based on underlying profit after tax and allows for the dilutive effect of share options.
  5. Staff numbers are shown on a full-time equivalent basis, including agency staff.
  6. Net (debt)/funds comprise cash and cash equivalents plus financial assets and loan notes receivable less borrowings.
  7. Work in hand is the value of contracted and committed work as at 31 March that is scheduled for the following financial year, expressed as a percentage of budgeted revenue for the year.


Heath Drewett, Group finance director
Kate Moy, Group investor relations director
Matt Graydon, Group PR director
+44 (0) 20 7121 2000
+44 (0) 20 7121 2000
+44 (0) 20 7121 2000

Notes to editors

1. Atkins
Atkins ( is one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, employing over 18,300 people across the UK, North America, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and Europe. We build long term trusted partnerships to create a world where lives are enriched through the implementation of our ideas. You can view Atkins’ recent projects on our website.

2. Alternative performance measures
When explaining the Group’s performance, we make reference to a variety of performance measures. A large number of these are defined under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). We also use measures that are not defined under IFRS and these are referred to as alternative performance measures (APMs). We believe they help provide the reader with a balanced view and clearer insight into the performance of the business, removing the items that may give a distorted view of performance. A breakdown of the items that we adjust for to calculate underlying profit is given in the Financial review.

3. Attachments
Attached to this news release are the overview of the year, business review, financial review, statement of going concern, statement of directors’ responsibilities, the consolidated income statement, consolidated statement of comprehensive income, consolidated balance sheet, consolidated cash flow statement, consolidated statement of changes in equity and notes to the preliminary financial information for the year.

4. Analyst webcast at 0800
Dial-in details are available from +44 (0) 20 7353 4200 for those wishing to join the conference call. A webcast of the presentation will be available via the Company’s website,

5. Cautionary Statement
This announcement has been prepared for the shareholders of Atkins as a whole and its sole purpose and use is to assist shareholders of Atkins to exercise their governance rights. Atkins and its directors and the Group’s employees are not responsible for any other purpose or use or to any other person in relation to this announcement and their responsibility to shareholders of Atkins shall be limited to that which is imposed by statute.

This announcement contains indications of likely future developments and other statements which are, or may be deemed to be, ‘forward looking statements’. Forward looking statements are prospective in nature and are not based on historical or current facts, but rather on current expectations and projections of the management of Atkins about future events, and are therefore subject to risk factors associated with, among other things, the economic and business circumstances occurring from time to time in the countries, sectors and business segments in which the Group operates. These and other factors could adversely affect the Group’s results, strategy and prospects. Forward looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. They relate to events and/or depend on circumstances in the future which could cause actual results and outcomes to differ materially from the future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. You are cautioned not to place any reliance on these forward looking statements. No obligation is assumed to update or revise any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Nothing in this announcement should be construed as a profit forecast. All persons, wherever located, should consult any additional disclosures that Atkins may make in any regulatory announcements or documents which it publishes. All persons, wherever located, should take note of these disclosures.

The information in this announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or an invitation to buy shares in Atkins or an invitation or inducement to engage in any other investment activities.

Past performance cannot be relied upon as a guide to future performance.

6. Publication on a website
A copy of this announcement and the preliminary results video are available on Atkins’ website at