The UK's largest engineering consultancy, WS Atkins, has said its performance in the year to date has continued to be in line with its expectations, with core markets remaining "robust".
The company, which employs around 1,000 people in Birmingham, said that trading in the third quarter to the end of December was good and its forward workload remained strong. The firm said its overall financial position was also good.
In a trading update yesterday, Atkins highlighted that its design and engineering solutions segment was performing "well" with further contract wins across the business including preferred bidder for the design to enhance Birmingham's New Street Station.
Atkins also highlighted that the acquisition of Dutch aerospace consultancy Nedtech Engineering was completed in December and since then it has been awarded contracts for Airbus' A380 and A330F aircraft.
The group said the recovery of rail was continuing as anticipated.
"This has been further confirmed by the formal award of the contract to undertake the re-signalling upgrade project at Rugby and Nuneaton as part of Network Rail's West Coast main line upgrade programme," said the statement. Highways and transportation was performing in line with expectations and the Middle East business continued to make "good progress", it added.
It noted that management and project services was also performing in line with expectations, with a "good" performance from the cost consultancy business.
However, it added that its management consultants side had been impacted by the poor start to the year and improvement in performance was unlikely until after the fourth quarter.
Broker KBC Peel Hunt said the trading statement was "positive" but it remained concerned about the management consultancy business.
Meanwhile, industrial fastener maker Trifast said it saw full-year pre-tax profit broadly in line with the £8.8 million posted a year ago due to a longer than forecast shutdown period at OEMs in Europe resulting in fewer invoicing days last December.
The trading performance will reflect an operating margin of 7.9 per cent, it added.
The company, which is currently headquartered in Uckfield in East Sussex and currently employs 86 at its distribution centre in Wednesbury and 80 at its site in Hartlebury, near Kidderminster, said the indications for January trading were ahead of the previous year results and were running very much in line with expectations for the month.