Experience design consultancy cxpartners bought by Sopra Steria

04 March 2020 Consultancy.uk

Sopra Steria has experienced a challenging few years in the UK, but as its turnaround project shows signs of success the firm has invested in design consultancy cxpartners. The firm provides customer centric solutions to clients from its offices in London and Bristol, and its acquisition will bring more than 50 designers into the Sopra Steria fold.

In 2017, Sopra Steria launched a recovery plan for its UK business, which involved expanding its operations in the private sector as well as growing its consulting business and sales teams. The move saw Sopra Steria sink over €39 million into the scheme, and as a result the firm's UK arm logged double-digit revenue declines that year, falling 13.6% to €801.7 million, while profits fell 38% to €36.9 million.

Following this, further restructuring costs related to resuscitating the UK business brought Sopra Steria to a year-on-year profit decline in 2018. Operating profits in the UK fell by 52% to just €18.7 million for the year, while revenues contracted by 1% to €783.1 million.

Experience design consultancy cxpartners bought by Sopra Steria

While profits continued to be hampered by an unpropitious business environment in 2019, restricting revenue to €771.5 million, Sopra Steria’s results no longer includes its recruitment business, which contributed €129.2 million in revenue in 2018 before being sold in June 2019. Excluding this impact and fluctuations in the British pound, the firm’s revenue growth was 7.3%.

Seeking to build on these positive signs, Sopra Steria has looked to invest in a rapidly expanding element of the consulting market: design services. Global spending on design services is at an all-time high, at $40.7 billion, with the market for offerings such as product design, model design, user interface and interaction design forecast to grow at a CAGR of 6.4% between 2017 and 2023. As clients turn to consultants to provide holistic design and consulting services, Sopra Steria has acquired experience design consultancy cxpartners.

Speaking of the acquisition, Pierre-Yves Commanay, Executive Director - UK Consulting and Continental Europe at Sopra Steria, said, “Welcoming cxpartners into the Sopra Steria group demonstrates our business-wide strategic focus to deliver end-to-end services centred around peoples’ needs. We know from proprietary research that clients are increasingly focused on solutions anchored in user-centred design. This acquisition reflects our commitment to their needs and a strategic focus on customer centric transformation that is imperative for modern organisations to succeed.” 

Based in London and Bristol and employing over 50 designers, cxpartners is renowned for delivering award winning customer centric solutions for both the public and private sectors. Since establishing in 2004, it has worked with a range of clients including the government, FTSE 100 companies and organisations operating in multiple industries such as AXA, Google and Public Health England. The acquisition will see cxpartners become an autonomous subsidiary of Sopra Steria. As such, it will see a minimal impact, with no changes to its brand identity, locations, employees or culture planned, reinforcing the natural fit of the two brands. 

Giles Colborne, founding partner and CEO at cxpartners, said, “We founded cxpartners 16 years ago with the mission to put people at the centre of technologyJoining Sopra Steria group will enable us to amplify this work on a much larger scale while benefiting from the deep operational knowledge of the business.  We’re thrilled to have struck a partnership which sees us maintain our identity while joining forces with a respected brand which shares our values and passion for human insight.”


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