Arup grows UK revenues by nearly 4% to £1.6 billion

30 November 2018 Consultancy.uk

Construction consultancy Arup has announced that its UK revenue has seen growth of 4% in its latest financial year. The firm outpaced the economic growth of the UK as a whole by gaining a number of key contracts including a multi-million pound redevelopment project for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

By the end of March 2018, Arup had generated revenue of £1.56 billion, while operating profits hit £113.2 million, up 57%, on the prior term. This included proceeds from the sale of a building it owned in the west end of London to the Workspace group.

Arup has continued to pick up new contracts over the course of 2018, too. The firm has won a growing number of major contracts to help develop the infrastructure and resources of the UK. Earlier in the year, the firm was drafted in to assist the redevelopment of London’s Euston Station, as well as a much needed revamp of Edinburgh’s aged Waverley Station.

Arup sees annual revenue boosted by nearly 4%

Now, as the firm prepares to modernise Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium, ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in a £70 million overhaul, Arup Chairman Gregory Hodkinson has called the engineering giant’s latest results a “reasonable financial performance that is well aligned to our strategic objectives.” 

With revenue having risen by nearly 4%, however, stripping out the disposal of its London building, which generated a profit of nearly £46 million, Arup’s overall operating profit came in at £67.4 million, down 7% year-on-year. This demonstrates challenges which the firm will need to prepare for.

Hodkinson said it would be “remiss of me not to address geopolitical risk including Brexit. As a firm with significant revenue from UK operations we are mindful of the potential macro-economic effects of major policy changes, including our ability to attract the highly skilled people we continue to need.”

This comes after Theresa May confirmed her plans to scrap freedom of movement for EU citizens as part of her proposed withdrawal agreement with the EU. With the deal expected to be defeated by some margin in Parliament, however, what seems likely to prevail instead is a continuing atmosphere of uncertainty, which has already slowed the UK economy drastically – and with it, reduced the growth trajectory of the construction industry.

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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.