Infrastructure is star performer in Turner & Townsend’s 25% revenue growth

Plan now is for “intelligent expansion” says infrastructure MD Murray Rowden.

Turner & Townsend’s UK infrastructure revenue grew by 25% to £69M in the financial year 2013-14. And infrastructure was the star performer worldwide,  producing 21% revenue growth of £91M for the group. 

The figures were revealed in the programme management and construction consultancy’s annual results announced today (Wednesday).  Overall the company, which employs 3,660 staff saw turnover rise 12% to £357.4M with profit up 13% to £34M. In the last three years turnover has increased by 51%.

Over three quarters (76%) of business for the 900 strong infrastructure division was in the UK but the Middle East (12%, £11M), Australia (6%, £5M), Africa (4%) all produced good growth. The rest of the world accounts for the final 2% (£2M) of income.

“We have had solid growth in the UK and significant wins in the Middle East in particular,” said managing director infrastructure Murray Rowden. The business is working on five major airports in the Middle East and the giant Qatar Rail project.  “And in Australia we have combined new wins with work for existing clients to good effect.”

“We have been selective in who we work for and our financial protocols are a strong feature of our business.” 

The firm’s success, he said, is down to the business focusing on what it is good at. “Clients like the fact that we offer independent programme management and project advice based on the knowledge we have gathered from our work around the world. We don’t have design and other services to sell.”

The growth, he said, has been manageable and sustainable. “We have been selective in who we work for and our financial protocols are a strong feature of our business.” Debt management, which created problems for many consultants in the last Middle East boom, is tightly controlled.

The plan now is for intelligent expansion, especially in North America where federal and local government has recognised there is a need to invest across all infrastructure. Acquisitions are on the agenda, the business has bought a few companies over the years and will continue to do so “to build our capability”, Rowden said.

Finding enough of the right people is always a challenge, he said. “But we continued to invest in our people throughout the recession and our clients have respected that.” Rowden said he believed Turner & Townsend had a lot to offer its staff and prospective emloyees. “We want to work on the big programmes, the most exciting projects, with the biggest clients and that’s a story people engage with.”

The challenge for all of them, he said, was “to make sure we deliver consistent excellence for our clients all over the globe”.

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