An interim management statement by Atkins for the period Q1 2012/13 revealed that project delays have affected the firm’s plans to grow in the region.
However, the report predicted that headcount growth will occur later this year.
The statement read: “The Middle East has seen delays in projects coming to market, constraining our anticipated headcount growth, and reaching client agreement on various contract variations.
“In addition, we continue to experience more onerous contract payment terms on some of our current government and infrastructure work.
It continued: “Maintaining our focus on project selection and the close management of ongoing variation orders remains critical to our financial success in the region. We continue to forecast headcount growth across the region during the remainder of the financial year.”
The statement also conceded that the global performance was below expectations. “While the Group’s geographic and sector diversification continues to provide resilience, the outlook for the Group’s overall performance for the full year is slightly below previous expectations,” it added.