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Atkins sheds around 1,000 jobs

WS Atkins, the official engineering design services provider for the London 2012 Olympics, is shedding 930 jobs due to worsening market conditions in the UK and Middle East.
The global design and engineering consultancy's job cuts will be made by the end of March 2009.

Atkins, whose UK headquarters is based in Epsom in Surrey, employs around 12,500 people in the UK and around 18,600 people across the world.

In its interim management statement published on February 11, for the period from October 1, 2008 to date, WS Atkins said: 'We have been affected by the uncertainty in a number of markets, principally in our Middle East and UK building design businesses. As a result, we anticipate that in the second half of this financial year staff numbers across the group will reduce by some 5%. Our UK building design business, which represents approximately 2% of the group's revenue, has been severely impacted by general market conditions and the deferral of projects by the Learning and Skills Council'.

The group's performance in the three months ended December 31 2008 was described as good.

A spokesman for the group said: 'We are not expecting this to effect the projects we're undertaking for the Olympics. We are acting in a position of strength to react to worsening market conditions in certain parts of the group'.

On February 4, Atkins announced that Robert MacLeod, group finance director resigned from the Board and will leave Atkins on June 19 to join Johnson Matthey Plc. His successor is yet to be announced. On February 11, the Board announced the appointment of chartered accountant and experienced finance director Joanne Curin as a non-executive director with effect from February 10.
11 February 2009

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