WS Atkins shares rocket as it promises to beat expectations

SHARES in engineering consultancy group WS Atkins rose seven per cent yesterday after the company said it expected its full-year results to beat market forecasts, backed by the strong performance of its Middle East operations.

The Surrey-based company, which is the official engineering design services provider for the London 2012 Games, announced its earnings will exceed analysts’ consensus forecasts of £92.5m.

The group has been involved in high profile projects in the Middle East over the last year, notably the revamping of Jeddah airport in Saudi Arabia and a new rail scheme in the United Arab Emirates.

The UK business continues to perform in line with expectations despite challenging market conditions.

The trading update ahead of preliminary results to be announced on 16 June has also highlighted a 1,000 reduction in total employee numbers for the company to 17,500.

Shares closed at 737p yesterday, up 48p from 689p the previous day, valuing the business at around £737.53m.