Norway’s management consultancy sector grew by 5% last year, bringing it to a value of €579 million. Against a backdrop of low oil prices, demand for Norwegian-based consultants from the key oil & gas and energy & resources sector is expected to be supressed this year, and as a result growth is foreseen to slow down.
In recent years consulting firms based in Norway have benefited from a growing market. In 2011 the Norwegian management consulting market was worth €508 million, according to data from analyst firm Source Information Services (Source). Between 2011 and 2012 Norway’s advisory industry grew by an impressive 5% – in stark contrast to the lacklustre growth booked on mainland Europe. The growth came largely from the oil and gas sector – one of the key industries for consultants in the country – despite consulting fees relying very heavily on a small number of very big organisations. In 2013 the Norwegian consulting landscape grew by 3.3%, while growth last year reached 5.0%, taking the market to a value of €579 million.
Last year’s growth was, similar to other Scandinavian markets, driven primarily by digitisation (digital strategy / operations / technology) and operational improvement. Across the region, technology accounts for €825 million of the €2.4 billion Nordic consulting market, while operational improvement accounts for 27% (€653 million) of the market.
With a value of €579 million, Norway is after Finland the smallest of the four Scandinavian consulting markets. Sweden, which last year saw its consulting industry grow to €800 million, leads the pack, followed by Denmark, with a value of 22% below that of the Swedes. In terms of growth Sweden and Denmark jointly outperformed their neighbours, although Norway’s 5.0% growth still significantly outclassed Finland’s meagre 1.4%.
The Big Four hold a strong position in Norway, and across the landscape the experience of individual consulting firms varied quite significantly from the overall market figure, “even if the vast majority were positive to some degree,” says Edward Haigh, Director of Source Information Services. Looking ahead, Haigh highlights there is optimism that 2015 will continue in a similar vein, but adds that growth is unlikely to increase further, as political and economic uncertainty in Europe and Russia combine with the impact of low oil prices in Norway to supress demand.
* The scope of Source’s market assessment focuses on mid-sized and large-sized consulting firms (those with more than 50 consultants) and typically includes work they have carried out for mid- and large-sized clients. The sizing does not incorporate the turnover of very small firms and/or freelance consultants. Note that Source has adjusted its baseline figure for 2014 – Consultancy.uk has updated market estimates for 2011 – 2013 accordingly based on growth rates.