Overseas markets key to Turner’s growth

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GROWTH in international infrastructure projects boosted turnover and profit at programme management and construction consultancy Turner and Townsend.

The company, whose corporate headquarters are based in Horsforth, Leeds, said its global turnover increased by 12 per cent to £357.4m in the year ended April 30, 2014. Operating profit grew by 13 per cent to £34m.

The company, which employs more than 3,660 staff across a network of 87 offices, has now recorded four successive years of growth, boosting turnover by 51 per cent since 2011.

The company said it recorded robust growth across all its core sectors – property, infrastructure and natural resources but added infrastructure was the star performer – with 21 per cent annual growth propelling revenue to £91m.

Key infrastructure contracts include cost consultant to the £1.5bn upgrade of Heathrow Airport over the next five years and working as a lead cost consultant for the £15bn Crossrail programme.

UK revenue grew by 11 per cent to £148m, while operating profit grew 12 per cent to £16.5m.

Chairman Tim Wray said until a couple of years ago the UK made up the largest percentage of revenue but now 54 per cent comes from overseas.

In Yorkshire, revenue remained static at £13m, while operating profit stayed at £1.3m. The company has two offices in Leeds and Sheffield where it employs 260 staff. Chairman Tim Wray said: “We have managed to grow the UK in what has been difficult times but the Yorkshire figures demonstrate that, outside the South East, it has been a tough market out there.”

He added: “We have done a lot better than some of our competitors but it has been tough.”

Mr Wray said the competitive nature of fee bidding and attracting enough good talent were the main challenges for the company.

Key projects across Yorkshire include the Piece Hall transformation in Halifax, the £50m new-build project at Bradford College campus, as well as projects for Sheffield Hallam University, Yorkshire Water and Sheffield City Council.

“There are still some exciting projects around Yorkshire,” Mr Wray said.

He added: “But the South East is really going along at a faster pace. We did the Shard and, on the back of that, won the Battersea Power Station contract so they are much bigger projects.”

In the last year, Turner and Townsend has focused on expanding in existing markets, and entering new ones, as part of a global strategy to drive sustainable growth.

It opened eight new offices around the world and increased staff numbers by 13 per cent.

Revenue jumped by nearly half (46 per cent) in the Middle East region, and by a third in Asia.

The company’s North American division grew revenue by 30 per cent to £56m, and boosted its presence across the USA with the opening of new offices in Phoenix, Chicago and Seattle.