DESIGN and engineering giant WS Atkins has flagged up better than expected annual results – thanks to strong cost controls and an order book boosted by recent contract wins.

Surrey-based Atkins said profits for the year to March 31 will be “slightly ahead” of the consensus figure of £86m – although this is still down on last year’s £102.7m.

Atkins, which is working on major projects such as the 2012 Olympic Park and the widening of the M25, has recently landed a £350m 10-year road maintenance deal from Oxfordshire County Council.

It is also part of an international team which has won a contract to build an experimental nuclear fusion reactor in France.

“We continue to trade confidently in what remain turbulent economic conditions. Our work in hand is good, and we have recorded a number of recent wins,” Atkins said.