Chairman and CEO, Turner & Townsend
2016-2017 has been another strong year for Turner & Townsend.
Our financial results were exceptional. Turnover increased by 20 percent to £491m and profit by 20 percent to £47m. Our cash position at year end was £48.3m and our business remains debt free, enabling us to continue to reinvest to build our long-term capability.
These results are all the more remarkable given the volatility in many markets and sectors. Uncertainty remains with notable consequences. In real estate most corporates are driving for cost reduction and consolidation; in infrastructure capacity and affordability are restraints; while in natural resources capital expenditure is under the closest scrutiny as companies align their operations with new price points. Reduced revenues in natural resources have also impacted on activity in several countries, particularly emerging markets.
Alongside economic uncertainties, our clients are also responding to significant change from the adoption of new technologies and different competitor models. We continue to look at how they can exploit the opportunities that emerge from new technology and from adapting to change.
We strongly believe taking the long-term view and investing in our capability is the best antidote to uncertainty.
We strongly believe taking the long-term view and investing in our capability is the best antidote to uncertainty. This year, we extended our geographical coverage with new offices in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the UK. We also invested in our infrastructure business worldwide, developing industry leading capability in setting major programmes up for success.
We made further investment in our service model by joining forces with AMCL, an asset management advisory business, and Suiko, a lean construction specialist. Today, we are able to advise clients on optimising their investment at every point in the asset life cycle.
A strong pool of talent and effective succession planning is central to our long-term success. This year, Tim Wray, our Chairman, and Tom Harrison, our Chief Operating Officer, retired after over four decades each with the business. I am grateful for their immense contributions. Tom Harrison has been succeeded by James Dand, former Regional Managing Director for our European business, who also joins the Executive Board. We continue to have one of the strongest graduate programmes in the industry – three out of five members of our Executive Board joined us as graduates.
This year, we also strengthened our strategic partnerships with charities, schools and government in the communities where we work. We focused on programmes that raise the aspirations and employability of young people and children and encourage talent from diverse backgrounds into our industry.
Our people are hugely supportive of these programmes and personally make a difference to hundreds of children through their skills and dedication. Everyone is empowered to take social action with annual volunteer days. In our first year of partnership with Action for Children we raised £75,636 for our education fund, enabling us to make 746 grants to disadvantaged families.
Making a difference to our clients and advancing the world we live in is the passion all our people share.
Making a difference to our clients and advancing the world we live in is the passion all our people share. Across our markets they are defining new standards in service delivery, sharing innovation, developing local partnerships and influencing how the world’s largest programmes are set up for success. I am grateful for their relentless focus, often under difficult circumstances. In uncertain times, we’re working together to embrace change and continuously serve our clients’ needs.
While we expect further volatility in the year ahead, we remain confident we will maximise the opportunities available to us. Our independence, long-term investment and ability to adapt to change provide the platform for ongoing success.