BearingPoint records solid revenue growth despite transition year

28 March 2019 Consultancy.uk

BearingPoint has enjoyed a year of consistent growth, despite going through a number of transitions in 2018. Alongside the installation of Kiumars Hamidian as the firm’s leader, BearingPoint also launched a new office in Luxembourg and integrated two firms into its make-up. The consulting firm recorded 4% growth globally, while outpacing the UK and Ireland management consulting market with its growth in the region.

In 2017, data released by BearingPoint, one of the largest European-origin consultancies that traces its roots back to KPMG Consulting, showed that the firm had outpaced the consulting industry for two consecutive years. Following 10% growth in 2016, BearingPoint added another 12% to its total fee income in 2017. While the consultancy saw its level of global expansion slow considerably in the following year, it still saw a respectable increase in its revenue over 2018. BearingPoint saw growth of 4% to see its fee income hit a record €739 million.

With analytics firm Statista having estimated growth of 4% for the global management consulting market in 2018, this places BearingPoint's results squarely on the level with the broader industry. At the same time, when only considering the firm’s core consulting business, the firm was further ahead of the market, recording 6% growth. The firm’s software solutions business grew slightly slower than in previous years, however, lowering the firm’s overall growth rate.BearingPoint records solid revenue growth despite transition year

BearingPoint saw especially promising developments in its core European territory during the last year. Alongside the FBA region (France, Benelux, Africa) – where it opened a new Luxembourg office and made a strategic move to acquire Inpuls, doubling the size of its Belgian presence – the firm’s UKI wing (United Kingdom, Ireland) stood out with strong growth. A release from BearingPoint stated the UKI arm was “far above the market average”, though it did not specify by how much. 2018 saw growth of 5.6% for the UK consulting market, slowing considerably on 2017 levels in the shadow of Brexit uncertainty.

James Rodger, Partner and UKI Regional Lead commented, “The UKI region performed extremely well in 2018, with both the UK and Ireland significantly outpacing market growth. Our strategy to focus on specific industry sectors has contributed to this success, with Ireland seeing growth in financial services and healthcare, and the UK growing in retail and automotive… Our continued investment in both our client and our employee value propositions has not only supported growth financially, but also contributed to our attractiveness as an employer, with a 17% increase in employees across the region.”

BearingPoint remained strongly profitable, despite going through a year of continuous change. In the UK, this was the first full year of results since the integration of LCP Consulting within BearingPoint, but this contributed to strong growth in supply chain and operations engagements.

Further to this, the firm underwent a key change at the top, as long-time Managing Partner Peter Mockler stood aside for veteran executive Kiumars Hamidian to take up the office in September. Hamidian updated the strategy to navigate the firm through 2025, focusing on markets, portfolio and people for the future.

Commenting on the results, Hamidian said, “I am proud to report that we were able to continue our path of sustainable and profitable growth in 2018 and reached the highest revenue ever. It’s also fair to say that 2018 was a year of transition, not only because we had a well-prepared change in leadership, but also because we started to make adjustments to our long-term strategy. The execution of this strategy will allow for more success and further growth in the upcoming years.”

Related: BearingPoint's CEO Peter Mockler reflects on the firm’s bumper 2017 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.