The UK's biggest engineering consultant WS Atkins has said it is not suffering amid the economic slowdown as it unveiled a 31% hike in annual profits.
Booming business in the construction-hungry Middle East and growing demand for work from the nuclear power industry helped drive up pre-tax profits to £91.9 million for the year to April 30. Total revenues were 11% ahead at £1.3 billion.
An economic downturn has seen activity levels in the UK construction industry drop to historic lows this year, but Surrey-based Atkins has enjoyed a steady stream of public-sector and rail and highway maintenance contract wins on top of its design work.
The group said it started this financial year with work in hand amounting to 55% of budgeted revenue and was continuing to recruit extra staff.
Atkins said: "While there is of course uncertainty about the future direction of some of the economies in which we operate, we have not seen any sign of reduction in activity.
"Our markets remain strong and as the group continues to improve its services we are confident that the group will achieve further good progress in the year ahead."
Atkins is a major developer on London's Olympic Park project and recent deals clinched include a major road maintenance project in East Anglia and a design contract for Glasgow's M74 motorway.
Atkins said it had seen a growing demand for nuclear capabilities in the wake of the Government's commitment to develop the sector, announced at the start of this year.
Staff numbers have increased by over 20% to 500 in the firm's nuclear division and it was selected by nuclear power station operator British Energy to provide engineering and technical support until 2012.
Half the group's rail business comes from signalling upgrades for Network Rail. Atkins is also consulting on the Glasgow Airport Rail Link, between the city's airport and Central Station and on London's Crossrail project.
Atkins' Middle Eastern revenues rose 41% to £112 million thanks to the region's rapid growth in construction. Projects worked on include two skyscrapers in Dubai.
Broker Panmure Gordon said in a note that the company had delivered healthy growth in profit and dividends, with progress "broadly spread".
Analyst Andy Brown said: "Headcount growth continues, the balance sheet is strong and management are upbeat on the prospects. We stay positive."