Shard pointing way to success

Construction consultancy Turner & Townsend reported a 29 per cent jump in annual profits thanks to a number of new contract wins including Yorkshire Water and the iconic Battersea Power Station in London.

The Shard, London

The Leeds-based group’s high profile work on The Shard in London, the tallest building in the European Union, has helped it to win a number of new contracts at home and abroad.

Overseas sales now make up 54 per cent of the group’s revenues and all seven of its global regions reported an increase in profits in the year to April 30.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Annual profits rose £7m to £30m and global turnover exceeded £300m for the first time to £318m, defying volatile market conditions.

The company, which employs 3,239 staff across a global network of 80 offices, expanded its workforce by 16 per cent over the year.

Over the past year T&T opened eight new offices, entering Norway for the first time and extending further into the US, the Netherlands, Germany, Russia and China.

The company’s overseas expansion has been boosted by a string of strategic acquisitions in key markets – including Hong Kong, the US and Norway.

UK profits rose 27 per cent to nearly £15m despite challenging market conditions in its home market.

While much of the British construction sector struggled in the face of weak demand, T&T reported strong growth.

Revenue rose by 14 per cent to £133m and profits to £14.8m.

A series of high-profile project wins included the long awaited redevelopment of Battersea Power Station and the refurbishment of the world’s biggest greenhouse at the Royal Botanic Gardens.

T&T’s chairman Tim Wray said: “In the UK our brand has grown. The Shard has really helped. I’m sure that being involved in such a high profile project helped with us winning Battersea Power Station.

“It’s good to see growth in the UK at a time when other companies are still suffering.”

The company’s UK managing director, Steve McGuckin, added: “The UK market is still far from rude health, but even in this challenging environment our reputation for consistently delivering both excellence and value to our clients has ensured we stay ahead of the competition.

“Our diversified business helped us compete – and win – across a range of sectors this year, and our work on a series of major infrastructure programmes like London’s Crossrail continues to strengthen our pedigree and provide long-term revenue.

“To have increased both profits and revenue in these tough conditions is a real achievement, and a just reward for the UK team’s dedication to their clients and sheer hard work.”

The company completed its largest ever graduate intake over the year taking on 54 recruits and increased UK staff numbers to 1,587.

In Yorkshire T&T won three big projects over the year.

The company’s role as framework consultants for Yorkshire Water’s next asset management period was extended to 2015 until 2020.

T&T’s main role will be to protect the company’s treatment works against extreme weather conditions, protect the local environment and guarantee a secure supply of drinking water.

The group has also won work on a new engineering campus at Sheffield University where it will project manage a £50m refurbishment programme, which will remodel a 13,000 square metre section of Sheffield University’s estate over six years.

Planning permission has been granted for the New Engineering Building on the Old Jessop East site, which T&T said will provide cutting edge teaching and research facilities and accommodate 1,600 extra students and nearly 400 more staff by 2020.

The building will house 19 teaching laboratories, offices and student-led learning spaces.

The third local project is working on a fan blade casting facility for Rolls-Royce in Rotherham.

T&T is project manager for Rolls-Royce’s new 14,000 square meter advanced blade casting facility, which is expected to produce its first blades in late 2014.

The facility will be capable of manufacturing 100,000 blades per year when fully operational. The project is due to be completed in 2014.

T&T’s CEO Vincent Clancy said: “This past year has been both challenging and intensely rewarding for us.

“Amid some volatile market conditions, Turner & Townsend has once again exceeded its growth expectations.

“We have grown further and faster than in the previous year as our expansion strategy pays off. By putting the right people, with the right skills, into the right places, we have consistently been where our global clients need us to be.

“Our sustained growth owes much to the quality of our people, but also to the company’s agility and its willingness to confront challenging conditions at home and pursue exciting opportunities abroad.

“While we remain cautious about the impact of increasing economic volatility in our developing markets, our flexibility, determination and uncompromising approach to delivery will carry on driving us forward.

“We will continue to innovate and outperform, and I am confident that we are entering our new financial year in good shape.”

Blackfriar: Page 3.