Engineering consultancy Ramboll books higher revenue and profitability

06 April 2018 Consultancy.uk

Ramboll Group has posted solid financial results in its latest book year, with revenue of up to €1.44 billion and profitability at the highest level in the company’s history.

The global engineering and consulting firm recorded a modest 2.8% in organic growth for the year lifting total fee income to €1.44 billion, while the number of employees grew slightly, from 12,497 FTE’s in 2016 to 12,527 FTE’s in 2017. Profitability was improved over the course of the past financial year – EBITA, a key indicator of performance, was up by 2.8% to around €83 million – a record for the Danish-based company – and EBITA margin was up by 5.8%.

Group CEO Jens-Peter Saul, said that he is pleased to report “another successful year for Ramboll.” He added, “All business units have delivered a profit and we have seen improved operational performance in most of our markets. We achieved particularly good results in the US and in the Nordics, where Finland and Sweden delivered all-time high results.”

The consultancy is involved with a wide array of projects across the globe, including the design of the Jokeri light rail line between Helsinki and Espoo in Finland, the Digital Railway programme in the UK, focused on developing the country’s often lacking digital railway infrastructure; and the design and implementation of the world’s largest energy recovery facility in Singapore. Ramboll is also active in the Middle East, where it focuses on the Oil & Gas sector, and in Africa, where the consultancy is supporting a number of large energy projects, among others.

Engineering consultancy Ramboll books higher revenue and profitability

In 2017, Ramboll created a number of so-called ‘spearhead’ services, aimed at driving growth and strengthening specialisation within the firm – including High-Rise Buildings, Major Crossings and Smart Mobility. These services fall under the firm’s wider five-year Winning Together strategy, which was launched in the summer of last year and reformed the way Ramboll organises its teams for client services. “We win when we work together across geographies and market areas,” said Jens-Peter Saul, adding “By breaking down silos, our new matrix organisation aims to drive profitable growth by leveraging our full strengths and synergies across our portfolio.”

About the future, Saul said “Our ambition is to embed innovation and digitalisation deeply in daily operations by transforming both the way we work and what we offer to our clients. We are ramping up initiatives to accelerate innovation and we have welcomed a new Chief Innovation Officer to the Group Executive Board to lead the transformation.”

At the start of its 2018 financial year, Ramboll’s order book had a value of €750 million, up from €644 million in the previous year.

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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.