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Tuesday22 July 2014

Atkins expects job cuts after spending review

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Hundreds of jobs at multi-disciplinary giant Atkins could be at risk following next week’s comprehensive spending review

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Atkins chief executive Keith Clarke admitted that “the bottom isn’t quite there” on job cuts. When asked whether this means hundreds or thousands, Clarke said: “Not thousands”.

Next week’s review is expected to bring massive cuts in government capital spend. Atkins has said that 80% of its UK business is reliant on the public sector.

Staff numbers at the firm, which employs some 240 architects in the UK and more than 560 worldwide, have already shrunk from 18,600 in October 2008 to 15,500 prior the acquisition of PBSJ.

An Atkins spokesman said: “Atkins has said for a long while that it is prepared for tighter government spending in the UK and will continue to work with our clients to understand the impact of their cuts and how they might affect us.

“Over the past two years we have become adept at responding to clients in the public and private sectors around the world who have put pressure on our fees and who are reducing the scope [of], or even cancelling, projects.”

The news comes as Atkins completed its acquisition of Florida-based construction management company PBSJ for £178 million. The firm is looking to break into the US market where President Obama has committed to significant infrastructure spending, Atkins said that the acquisition of PBSJ would balance its “geographic presence”, with a third of its revenue coming from the US, and provide a strong platform for growth.

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