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Clients seek global presence when awarding UK deals, says T&T chief

Turner and Townsend’s chief executive has said the firm is winning work in the UK because clients want to consolidate supply chains and use companies with a worldwide presence.

Vince Clancy claimed the firm’s appointment to the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station was helped by its growing global presence including in Asia.

He spoke to Construction News after the consultant posted an increase in UK profits of 27 per cent (£3m) to nearly £15m in the year to 30 April 2013.

Among its major UK contracts this year has been its appointment as project manager and employer’s agent for the initial phases of the Battersea Power Station redevelopment.

Mr Clancy said the win was further proof that having a global presence was becoming more of a necessity in order to win high-profile work with major corporations in the UK.

“We are seeing a big demand from clients to do things globally. Clients are looking to consolidate supply chains, get to the market quicker and be more efficient. They are looking for regional arrangements and to work with fewer suppliers.

“Our reputation for managing complex projects helps and the [Battersea] client is Asian and we have operations there.”

The firm’s global turnover has exceeded £300m for the first time in its full-year results, which included 53 per cent revenue growth in the Middle East and 34 per cent growth in the Americas.

Mr Clancy declined to comment on whether the firm had been approached over any potential mergers or acquisitions, but said only that he was “happy” with the company’s performance and business model.

Turner and Townsend results:

  • UK profits jump £3m to nearly £15m in 2012-13
  • Global turnover exceeds £300m for the first time
  • UK profits up 27 per cent; UK revenue up 14 per cent
  • Recruitment drive raises UK staff numbers to 1,587
  • Its operating profit margin rose from 9.7 per cent to 10.5 per cent
  • UK revenue rose by 14 per cent to £133m, and profits to £14.8m

Mr Clancy said Turner and Townsend used expertise from both its building side and also from civils and infrastructure together to make a “compelling case for clients”.

He added clients including General Electric and Phillips were among those who wanted to award work to firms on a cross-regional basis.

“Unless you work with these clients on a regional basis, for example in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) what we are seeing is if you can’t provide that geographical coverage you won’t win work in the UK,” he said.

UK managing director Steve McGuckin said: “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.”

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