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Arcadis CEO steps down over 'difference of opinion' with board

Arcadis global CEO Neil McArthur has stepped down following a “difference of opinion” with the consultant’s board.

In a statement, the firm said Mr McArthur, who has served as CEO since May 2012, was leaving by mutual agreement.

“Mr McArthur agreed to a separation because of a difference of opinion on Arcadis’ path moving forward,” the firm said.

Arcadis’ supervisory board chairman Niek Hoek added that the board and Mr McArthur “agreed that it is the right time for a new leader to take Arcadis forward”.

“We will begin a search internally and externally for a new CEO,” he said.

Chief financial officer Renier Vree has stepped up as interim CEO.

The announcement came as Arcadis reported that net revenues in the UK, which made up 17 per cent of its total net revenue in Q3, had fallen 9 per cent year on year due to the impact of the weaker pound, while its building division reported a continued decline due to Brexit-related delays in investment decisions.

However, the consultant added that a major architectural contract win had softened the impact on revenue in the UK.

Gross global revenue stood at €797m (£712m) in Q3, down 7 per cent from €854m (£763m) in the same quarter a year earlier, with the firm blaming “significant macro-economic headwinds” in its emerging markets business for the decline.

The consultant’s revenue in Brazil dropped by 38 per cent in Q3 2016 compared with Q3 2015, with the firm making an operating loss in the country, while revenue in its Asian business also declined, falling by 12 per cent following weaker activity in Hong Kong and Singapore.

However, revenue in continental Europe was 3 per cent higher year on year, helped by growth in its building divisions.

The consultant added that operating margin declined in its European business caused by “capacity imbalances” in France and Belgium.

Mr Vree said Q3 had been “challenging” compared with the first two quarters of the year.

“While we are not satisfied with the results, our business priorities are clear,” he said.

“We will continue to focus on winning work with our clients and cash collection.

“Furthermore, we will step up the pace in aligning our cost structure to the new market realities and simplify the organisation.

“The strategy process remains ongoing and we will disclose our strategy update at the beginning of 2017.”

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