Consulting firm Wavestone breaks through €350 million revenue barrier

10 May 2018 4 min. read
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Wavestone recorded increases in headcount, revenues and profit last year, capping an encouraging 2017/18 financial year. The firm is working toward becoming a top-tier consulting brand in the next three years, and exceeded expectations for its revenue target by €10 million.

International management consulting firm Wavestone currently boasts a team of over 2,700 professionals spread across four continents – they provide a range of management and IT advisory offerings, serving corporates, multinationals, and public sector organisations. Following the firm’s rebranding in the summer of 2016, as part of the merger between Solucom and parts of Kurt Salmon’s business, Wavestone outlined ambitious growth plans for both the UK and international offices. The firm’s leadership set out this new strategic vision in a bid to establish Wavestone as a top-tier international consulting brand by 2021.

To help push for that goal, Wavestone has since committed itself to acquiring strategic targets, boosting growth inorganically. Earlier in the Spring, Wavestone purchased Xceed Group, a fast growing technology consultancy with sixty employees across offices in London, Edinburgh and New York. Speaking at the time, Reza Maghsoudnia, Wavestone’s Director of Strategic Development said, “This acquisition accelerates our international development and will play a key role to enrich Wavestone’s value proposition in the UK and the US.”

Revenue of consulting firm Wavestone

While the acquisition will likely play a large role in growth for the firm over the next 12 months, however, it seems that the firm’s efforts during the last financial year paid off without the help of inorganic growth. Xceed was only consolidated in the books from April 1, 2018* onwards, and still Wavestone has breached the €350 million mark in terms of revenue. Over the full year of 2017/18, Wavestone brought in a total of €359.9 million, at a growth rate of 6% over the full year (or 7% on a constant forex basis).

The firm also rapidly expanded its headcount. Over 150 more people now work for Wavestone, which as of March 31, 2018, had 2,793 employees, contrasting with 2,628 at the same time the year previous. The firm’s staff now stands at 1,000 more than in early 2016, though this growth was largely thanks to its acquisition of a large part of Kurt Salmon. The firm plans to hire a further 200 consultants and professionals over the coming year, including between 60 to 100 in the UK. Across the company’s footprint, consultant utilisation rate for the whole of the previous fiscal year was 76%.

According to Wavestone’s management, the results are a good sign, having already exceeded Wavestone’s revenue target of €350 million. Meanwhile, profitability was also up on the last year. In 2016, EBIT margin was 10.6%, while last year it rose to 11.4%. Kicking on from that this year, Wavestone closed its books for 2017/18 with a profit percentage of around 13%.

Earlier this week two rival consultancies, FTI Consulting and PA Consulting Group, also released an update on their financials. PA Consulting Group saw its fee income grow 6% to £400 million last year, while FTI Consulting enjoyed a record-breaking quarter in Q1 2018 on the back of double-digit growth.

* Had Xceed been added, then revenues for 2017/18 would have been around €15 million higher.

Related: Wavestone leverages unique culture and agility to fuel further growth.