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Non-UK markets prove growth areas for Turner&Townsend

Consultants Turner&Townsend have revealed almost 50 per cent of their work is now coming from outside the UK and it expects that figure to increase.

Releasing its results to 30 April, the firm revealed that while turnover has increased from £217 million to £236m, a 9 per cent increase, operating profit fell from £18.2m to £15.9m.

Revenue in the UK fell from £112m to £107.5m while operating profit fell from £13.9m to £11.2m. Total net revenue worldwide grew however from £191.6m to £204.3m.

The group also revealed a decline in margins of 1.3 per cent to 9.2 per cent, something it attributed to ongoing difficult trading conditions particularly in the UK.

Away from the UK, all other regions produced growth for the firm including the Americas (up 44 per cent) and Africa (up 15 per cent), reflected in a shift of staff from the UK to international markets with 48 per cent of Turner&Townsend’s staff now working outside the UK – an increase of 8 per cent on 2010.

Meanwhile the firm has been appointed by the Department of Transport in New South Wales, to provide cost planning services for the proposed North West Rail Link in Sydney.

The North West Rail Link involves the construction of 23km of heavy rail passenger line connecting Epping to Rouse Hill, in the north-west suburbs of Sydney. The project includes the construction of 15km of tunnels and at least six new stations. A new train stabling facility will also be constructed at the north-western end of the route.

Turner & Townsend’s principal role will be to manage the project budget and demonstrate to the taxpayer that they are receiving maximum value for money.

Turner & Townsend director Darren Munton said: “This priority project will contribute significantly to the continued growth of Sydney’s north-west suburbs.

“We are excited by the opportunity to bring to the integrated project team the benefits of our extensive experience, and to play our part in delivering a high quality and cost effective transport solution for Sydney.”

Chief executive officer Vincent Clancy on the UK market

This year half of our people are outside the UK, and nearly half of our revenue derives from non-UK operations as we move from being a UK-based business to being a global business with a UK heritage.

In a challenging market, we have continued to capitalise where we see opportunities and reduce our exposure elsewhere. We continue to be strong in our regional offices. While competitors consolidate towards London, or a small number of regional hubs, maintaining our UK coverage is a valuable point of differentiation for many of our clients.

Following cutbacks in public sector capital spend, our government property workload has reduced, but we have maintained our share of the work available and sold new services around property rationalisation.

The fall-back in public sector revenue has been balanced by an increase in private property sector revenue. Retail remains a key sector for us. Strong relationships with major grocers, multiples and financial services are paying off.

In leisure, sport and hospitality we continue our work for the Olympic Delivery Authority on the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and were successful on the project management framework for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The commercial sector is showing signs of recovery in the south east. We have secured a number of mixed use schemes and are increasingly involved in the feasibility stage of schemes for developers. London Bridge Quarter (including the iconic Shard) is a great example of our capability in this area.

Infrastructure is a strong market for us, particularly in rail, air and water.  We are also extending our presence in other infrastructure sectors such as transport where demand will increase. During the year we successfully re-bid for a number of major frameworks such as BAA and BNG (Sellafield).

We have also been successful in winning frameworks with water companies around the UK regions under AMP5.  In addition to renewing existing frameworks, recent successes include Northumbrian Water and Scottish Water.

The UK continues to have a major influence on our global growth, providing knowledge, systems and experienced resources to our global regions. At the same time we have maintained strong leadership, service delivery capability and capacity in the UK to maximise the opportunities when the UK economy returns to growth.

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