Profits at Turner & Townsend increase despite volatility

Consultancy firm Turner & Townsend has defied challenging market conditions to increase its turnover by eight per cent to £409m and report pre-tax profits of £30m, a figure which has tripled in five years.

Tim Wray Chairman of Turner and Townsend.

The company, headquartered in the affluent Leeds suburb of Horsforth, employs nearly 4,300 staff across 97 offices worldwide, and has now reported its sixth consecutive year of revenue growth.

The figures for the year to April 30 have been achieved against a backdrop of volatile market conditions over the past year. The firm’s bosses attributed the success to a “flexible and resilient long-term strategy”.

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Turner & Townsend’s activity is spread across three core sectors – real estate, infrastructure and natural resources – and 41 global markets.

This flexible approach has helped it absorb market shocks and continue to thrive. For example, the company’s Middle East operation balanced last year’s abrupt fall in oil prices through increased real estate and infrastructure work – and successfully grew total revenue by 24 per cent. Annual revenue rose by a quarter in the company’s Australia and New Zealand operation, nine per cent in Europe and 14 per cent in the UK and Ireland – where turnover reached a record £180m.

Across its sectors, the company recorded strong growth in global real estate revenue (up 15 per cent to £196m) and infrastructure (up 16 per cent to £123m), which more than offset the impact on revenue from challenging conditions seen in the natural resources sector.

A series of high-profile project wins underpinned this success, including commissions to support the delivery of world-class airports in Houston and Dallas, the UK’s High Speed 2 rail line and Australia’s largest-ever hotel and residential complex, The Jewel.

The consultancy continued to invest in both its capability and reach throughout the year, increasing staff numbers by four per cent and strengthening its operations in Auckland, Cambridge, Fort Worth Istanbul, Mexico City, Miami, Nairobi and Orlando.

Vincent Clancy, chief executive, said: “The past year has seen us become the partner of choice for many of the world’s largest capital programmes, and our diversified business model continued to serve us well – giving us the flexibility to adapt to changes in individual markets. We’ve grown our global footprint, supporting our key regional hubs and strengthening our operations around the world to better serve our clients wherever and whenever they need us. Through our partnership, we’ve continued to invest in our people by giving a pathway for our most talented employees to become partners – with a say in how the business is run and a share in our success.

“With the UK set to leave the EU and volatility in other global markets, these are changing times for our industry. However, 70 years on from our formation, I am confident our strong business model and investment in our capability will continue to see us on the right path to deliver long-term sustainable growth.”

Tim Wray, chairman at Turner & Townsend, told The Yorkshire Post: “We are in a position where if we face a slowdown in the UK we can put our foot on the gas somewhere else. There is no reason why we cannot continue our plans for expansion.”