Atkins travels a bumpy road

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The Independent Online

The company that helped design the Olympic Park has posted a 21 per cent decline in UK profits after Government spending cuts hit domestic demand.

WS Atkins, which is also behind the M25 motorway widening project, said the Government's spending and strategic defence reviews were partly behind a 7 per cent cut in UK staff numbers to 9,640 in the year to 31 March. But the company reported underlying profit growth across the group as the weak UK performance was offset by strong showings in the Middle East and United States.

Atkins posted a 7.5 per cent increase in underlying profits to £119m in the year, which excludes the cost of a recent US acquisition. UK operating profits fell to £61.4m from £77.3m.