Charles River Associates (CRA) sees revenues grow 8% to $324 million

10 March 2017 Consultancy.uk

Charles River Associates, a consulting firm specialised in economic, financial, and management consulting services, has released its full year results. The firm has seen its turnover grow by 8% year over year to $324 million.

In 2016, Charles River Associates (CRA) saw its revenues increase by 7%, while the firm's non-GAAP revenue increased by 8.1% year over year to $324 million – with an additional $7 million added to the result from currency fluctuations across the year. The firm’s income came in at $12.9 million, up 68% on the year previous, and earnings – per diluted share – stood at $1.49, up 80%.

Growth was booked across its service lines, with in particular the Legal and Regulatory, Management Consulting and Antitrust & Competition Economics lines of business enjoying growing demand. From an industry perspective, CRA's Life Sciences business performed strongly. 

CRA financials 2016

Commenting on the 2016 financial figure, Paul Maleh, the firm’s President and Chief Executive Officer, says he is “pleased” with the strong performance, adding " “We enjoyed our highest annual non-GAAP Adjusted EBITDA margin in 10 years of 16.6% for fiscal 2016."

The firm's global head adds that the results in part reflect the challenges faced by the wider global uncertainty that reigned in 2016, as well as the impact of currency fluctuations, with the lower pound impacting the overall contribution of the firm's UK operations.

For 2017, Charles River Associates, which is the parent of management consultancy Marakon, expects revenues to grow further to between $350 million and $360 million, the result of organic expansion and the integration of C1 Consulting, a life sciences strategy consulting firm that was acquired in January this year.

Earlier this month two other consulting firms, BearingPoint and Simon-Kucher & Partners, also unveiled their 2016 results. German origin Simon-Kucher & Partners saw its revenues soar by 16% to €241 million, while European consultancy BearingPoint booked 10% revenue growth to €622 million.

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PA Consulting results reveal record 14% revenue growth

17 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Global professional services firm PA Consulting has reported another year of strong growth, outpacing the global consulting market significantly over the duration of 2018. PA’s revenue boomed by 14%, passing £455.8 million over the course of the year.

Founded in 1943, by Englishmen Ernest Butten, Tom Kirkham and David Seymour, the firm once known as Personnel Administration has since gone on to become one of the largest consulting firms in the world. PA Consulting Group, as it is now known, has over 2,600 professionals and a global presence spanning 18 countries. While turnover took a decade to recover from a rocky spell after the global financial crisis, PA Consulting is now firmly on the upward incline.

PA has booked strong growth in recent years, following its securing of private equity investment from the Carlyle Group in 2015. While the first full year of results following that move were slightly muted, due in part to the altering of how PA measured its results, the decision has clearly paid dividends since. Revenues jumped by 6% in 2017, hitting an all-time high of £400 million in the process.

Annual consulting revenues of PA Consulting versus UK market

Now, in the latest chapter of the firm’s rapid turnaround, the innovation and transformation consultancy has revealed things only got better in 2018. A set of record results released in April have confirmed that fee income rocketed up by 14% over the course of the prior 12 months, hitting £455.8 million. Considering the UK’s consulting market saw growth slow for the second year running (just 5.6%), PA’s performance is even more pronounced, especially in its first year of full results since influential Chair Marcus Agius stood down. 

The firm is also outpacing the global consulting market. Analytics firm Statista estimates that the consulting market expanded by 4.08% in 2018. As a result of such bullish demand, PA Consulting has also bolstered its staffing, boosting its consulting team’s headcount by 10% in the space of 12 months. 

PA’s team was further strengthened with its continued acquisition campaign, which brought three new firms into the fold during 2018. Boston-based innovation company Essential Design, specialist digital service design firm We Are Friday and London-based digital insight and strategy consultancy Sparkler all became part of PA over the course of the year. PA has also announced plans to recruit 400 professionals for its new digital centre in Belfast. 

‘Not traditional’

In terms of client work, in the UK PA supported Skipping Rocks Lab to create an edible alternative to single use plastic drink packaging, and worked on a notable restructuring project at disability charity Scope. Further afield, PA helped Norwegian authorities deliver their citizen-facing digital services, while in the US and India, PA partnered with Virgin Hyperloop One to build the first new mode of transport in a century, one that hopes to revolutionise travel. It even worked with United Nations to identify the technologies most likely to contribute to the achievement of the organization's Sustainable Development Goals.

Commenting on the year’s performance, Alan Middleton, PA Consulting CEO, said, “We’re not a traditional consulting firm and we think this is key to our ongoing success and why 98% of our clients recommend us… Our people are strategists, technologists, digital experts, consultants, designers, scientists and engineers – all of whom bring real-world experience, and apply it at pace. We offer the innovation, design, digital and transformation skills that our clients need to change, fast. There’s a sense of optimism behind our purpose. And it’s a feeling that inspires our people as well as our clients.”

The existing staff of PA also enjoyed a bumper year, as it was revealed that a refinancing manoeuver at the firm was expected to land over 1,000 employee shareholders a significant pay-out. The firm’s debt, which includes vendor loan notes put in place when Carlyle purchased the firm, is set to be refinanced in a deal worth £350 million.