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News releases 2017

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Pre close trading update

WS Atkins plc (“Atkins” or the “Group”), the design, engineering and project management consultancy, today provides an update on trading for the year ended 31 March 2017 in advance of its preliminary results announcement on 15 June 2017.

Group performance

Overall, the Group has traded well through the fourth quarter, with continued currency benefits as anticipated. Expectations for Group performance for the year ended 31 March 2017 remain unchanged.

The performance across the Group’s five operating segments has remained consistent with that reported in our Q3 trading update in early February.

We continue to perform well in the major markets of the UK and North America where, as evidenced by our reported results in the first half, we expect to show further good progress in the full year. Since our Q3 trading update, the market conditions have remained broadly unchanged in our two other geographic regions of the Middle East and Asia Pacific, while in Energy we are encouraged by the early signs of stabilisation in the oil and gas market.

Balance sheet

The Group’s financial position remains strong. We expect to report net debt of around £10m at 31 March 2017. We are pleased to announce that during the period our £100m revolving credit facility has been extended by one year to a new maturity date of March 2020.

As announced last week, we have reached agreement with the Trustee of the Atkins Pension Plan with respect to the 2016 triennial valuation, with the associated repayment plan unchanged from the previous valuation exercise in 2013. The agreed funding deficit at 31 March 2016 is £318 million (31 March 2013: £430 million).

Summary

Overall, the Group has traded well through the fourth quarter, with continued currency benefits as anticipated. Expectations for Group performance for the year ended 31 March 2017 remain unchanged.

Ends

Enquiries

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

Notes to editors

Atkins (www.atkinsglobal.com) is one of the world's most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, employing some 18,300 people across the UK, North America, Middle East, 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.

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 to exercise their governance rights. In particular, this announcement has not been audited or otherwise independently verified and no warranty is given as to its accuracy or completeness (other than any such warranty which is mandatorily implied by statute). Atkins and its directors and 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 shall be limited to that which is imposed by statute.

This announcement contains indications of likely future developments and other forward looking statements that are 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 those currently expected. No obligation is assumed to update 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.