Royal HaskoningDHV reports stable 2018 results

22 March 2019

Dutch consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV has confirmed a solid year of growth across its global operations. The company saw growth in the UK driven by demand for wind farm construction, in particular.

In recent years, engineering and project management firm Royal HaskoningDHV has been committing itself to an on-going digital transformation. In 2017, the firm launched its new strategy with a clear focus on data and digital. The company has since made a succession of steps to transform its organisation, introduce a new digital way of working, and co-create with clients and strategic partners (like data intelligence lab HAL24K) to deliver a new generation of tech solutions.

This included the July 2018 acquisition of data science company Ynformed, and has continued into 2019 with the addition of UK-based consultancy Lanner. The dual purpose software and consultancy provider possesses a line of simulation software, named WITNESS, which connects physical assets, processes and resources into a single digital model that delivers actionable insights that drive operational and supply chain efficiency.

Thanks in part to Royal HaskongingDHV’s continued drive to promote digital transformation in its company, the firm has reported stable results from the 2018 financial year. According to a release from the consultancy, restructuring and one-off costs were lower than in 2018 at €3.3 million, falling from €4.7 million a year earlier, while the remaining costs relate largely to the firm’s restructuring in South Africa and pension costs in the United Kingdom.

Royal HaskoningDHV reports stable 2018 results

The UK wing of the firm meanwhile saw its performance boosted by Royal HaskoningDHV’s continued its involvement in the development of offshore wind farms on the Dogger Bank. Having been the lead environmental impact assessment and consents advisor, the company is now delivering an equivalent role in the Dogger Bank Wind Farms plan for construction. Each of the three projects will see the installation of up to 200 wind turbines, powering approximately 850,000 homes annually with clean renewable energy.

In terms of the firm’s global financial performance, the company’s operating income rose by €6.2 million to sit at €614.8 million in 2018. Unfortunately, the firm’s order book ended at €306 million, declining from  €341 million in 2017, due to disappointing sales, especially in Industry & Buildings and in South Africa. However, the firm’s free cash flow was €17.4 million despite investments and acquisitions, with an equity ratio of 48%. As a result, the business remains in a healthy financial position, with an operating margin of 4.2%.

Looking forward, Erik Oostwegel, the CEO of Royal HaskoningDHV, said the firm expects growth in two of its four main markets. In the Netherlands and Indonesia it anticipates a healthy performance in 2019, but uncertainty characterises its developments in the UK and South Africa.

Oostwegel explained, “In the UK this is due to Brexit and in South Africa it’s because of the upcoming elections after which we expect market conditions will ease and investments will increase. We have a great team, the right processes in place and sound long-lasting client relationships. Our focus on data and digital will continue in 2019, both internally, with clients and partners, and through strategic acquisitions. We look forward to making the coming year a success and driving forward in our mission to enhance society together.”

More news on


PA Consulting results reveal record 14% revenue growth

17 April 2019

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.