Regional highlights

1 North America

Murray Rowden Regional Managing Director, Americas and Global Head of Infrastructure
The Canada and USA businesses had strong growth in 2017–2018, as we capitalised on increasing investment in the real estate, high-tech and manufacturing, infrastructure and shale gas sectors. Overall revenue was up by 21.1 percent.
  • £86.6m North America
    revenue
  • 649 North America people

The USA federal government’s USD1.5tn infrastructure plan, combined with taxation changes, boosted confidence across the industry. USD20bn will be made available each year over the next decade, with further funding required from the private sector. Alternative funding models, including public private partnerships, are necessary to supplement traditional models, creating advisory
opportunities to support clients with sourcing and negotiating contracts. We are already actively supporting consortia and funders.

In Canada, alternative funding models are being used for projects in multiple sectors including rail, commercial, healthcare and law and order, and the government is appraising the option of introducing asset recycling strategies. We are helping federal, provincial, and municipal levels of government with structuring and implementing innovative models. The pipeline of planned investments across Canada in rail, roads and aviation is very strong. We continue to support Toronto Pearson and the Vancouver Airports programme and the Toronto Metrolinx Regional Express Rail programme.

Several large mixed-use developments are also underway in Canada, combining retail, residential, health and education services. A key win in the public sector is the Centre Block Rehabilitation Programme, the redevelopment of the Canadian Parliament building in Ottawa.

In the USA, large-scale business campuses continue to be a trend. During the year, we commenced several multibillion-dollar schemes, advising on programme set-up, governance and assurance as well as project management and controls. We started work on Adidas’ North American headquarters in Portland, Oregon, and new facilities for global banking, technology and manufacturing companies.

In oil and gas, the shale revolution has triggered significant capital investment. There are increases in both mid and downstream, and early signs of investment regaining momentum in upstream. Mining is also ramping up after a challenging few years.

Looking ahead, we expect our strategy of growing our business and reputation through relationships with global blue-chip companies, combined with increasing market share in the infrastructure and public sectors to continue.

2 Latin America

Murray Rowden Regional Managing Director, Americas and Global Head of Infrastructure
An upturn in real estate and infrastructure projects characterised performance across Latin America, delivering overall revenue growth of 15.4 percent. Investor confidence in Brazil is increasing, while inward investment in Mexico is creating significant opportunities and Colombia is set to follow.
  • £10.2m Latin America
    revenue
  • 104 Latin America people

Several countries across the region have implemented measures to create conditions which are encouraging investment. High-tech and manufacturing brands are particularly active as they extend their services and products in the Latin American market. Using our established office network across the region, enables us to continue to support global clients as they enter new markets. This has generated wide-ranging work including real estate roll-out programmes, data centres and manufacturing facilities.

Demand for our services in the mining sector has ramped up following a few challenging years. Both Chile and Peru are set to generate a series of new projects with opportunities stemming from junior miners as well as the bigger players. Major mining businesses are renewing their investment in the region and this is generating infrastructure as well as mining projects. Given the recent challenging market, our mining clients are increasingly looking for more efficient methods of delivering capital investment programmes. We are deploying our global cross sector experience helping them to achieve this aim.

In line with the global trend, Latin American countries have continued to extend investment in infrastructure to attract international trade and build economies. Our global aviation experience is being sought by clients across the region as they bid for operating concessions and the associated upgrading of facilities. We are working on the expansion of Lima International Airport, providing a wide suite of services including commercial strategy, cost management and BIM strategy. At Lima we have led the BIM strategy which is now being implemented as a key part of programme set up activities. 

Over the last year, we have built our capacity across Latin America – in mining, data centres, high-tech and manufacturing, real estate and infrastructure. As a result, we are in a strong position to take full advantage of the pipeline opportunities.

The combination of our global and local capability is increasingly sought after, as governments, developers and investors in Latin America expect to set up, procure and execute projects in line with global best practice. Our independence and insights into the region help our clients get better value from their investments and we continue to increase our scope in overseeing the whole project life cycle.

3 UK and Ireland

Patricia Moore Managing Director, UK
Our UK region performed strongly during 2017–2018, with overall revenue growth of 12.4 percent. We remain on target to double the size of the region between 2015 and 2020.
  • £238.9m Revenue
  • 2,554 People

The UK Government continued to recognise infrastructure as a lever for growth. Our expertise has enabled us to secure a number of key commissions, including those with Highway England, the Department for Transport and a ten-year contract to support the procurement of equipment and services that the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force need to operate effectively.

Real estate in the UK benefitted from increased investment in both the private and public sectors. We secured and extended roles on iconic projects including Battersea Power Station, Wimbledon, Sheffield’s Heart of the City II and the North West Cambridge Development. Looking ahead, we anticipate that real estate clients will remain cautious, resulting in limited visibility of longer-term investment.

Natural resources has seen some green shoots of recovery as the price of oil increased. Our global presence and service offering diversification gives us a strong platform to support our clients, balancing increased investment appetite with a need to minimise cost exposure.

We continued to grow our advisory proposition across the full asset life cycle, through our operational excellence experts Suiko and specialist asset advisory company AMCL.

Our end-to-end service can build the plans and business case for investment and deliver a cost-effective solution that manages risks and creates value for both the owners of, and investors in, real estate and infrastructure assets.

It has been a significant year for corporate responsibility in the UK with a focus on improving social mobility. Our education fund with Action for Children, which has raised over £150,000 over the past year, provides grants for disadvantaged children and families to pay for school supplies. Our new partnership with the National Literacy Trust strengthened our relationship with five primary schools to improve reading skills and raise children’s career aspirations. Through the Career Ready programme, we have mentored 92 young people preparing to transition from education to the workplace, through over 4,000 volunteered hours.

4 Europe

Paul Grace Managing Director, Europe
Our Europe business performed very well across geographically diverse markets, delivering solid growth with revenue increasing to £28.8m. Our success was supported by our growing reputation for global insights and local knowledge.
  • £28.8m Revenue
  • 299 People

Real estate remained the dominant sector across all our markets as clients continued to invest in all real estate projects, with special emphasis on the data centre and life sciences sectors. Our German business, in particular Berlin and Frankfurt, had a very strong year on the back of securing several major real estate projects including the extension of the Braunschweig Municipal Hospital and the construction of the Research Center Borstel.

Russia continued to perform well in the face of significant challenges including Western Sanctions and a recessionary economy. The team successfully completed the large retail centre for Immochan on programme and significantly belowbudget. It was a successful year for our new office in Sweden, where we continued to support global companies including Microsoft. Our focus for the next year will be to expand our presence with global clients to help them improve the efficiency of their portfolios.

The infrastructure sector provided several opportunities in France, Germany and the Netherlands, where we continued our support on the upgrade of Schiphol Airport with project controls and cost management services. We will expand our infrastructure services in the coming years by leveraging our global expertise.

In natural resources, we recognised an increase in activity in renewables. Oil price movements increased activity in the oil and gas sector in Norway, and we recently secured a key contract in Italy with a multinational oil and gas company. Our future focus is rebuilding our natural resources business in Kazakhstan, the Netherlands and Norway.

We are proud of the gender balance we have in our European business, with a 59/41 percent gender split of all operational roles. Over the next year, we will localise our business further by investing in people with the local language skills and international experience we need to maximise local opportunities.

The infrastructure sector provided several opportunities in France, Germany and the Netherlands, where we continued our support on the upgrade of Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands with project control and cost management services. We will expand our infrastructure services in the coming years by leveraging our global expertise.

In natural resources, we recognised an increase in activity in renewables. Oil price movements increased activity in the oil and gas sector in Norway, and we recently secured a key contract in Italy with an oil and gas company. Our future focus is rebuilding our natural resources business in the Netherlands, Norway and Kazakhstan.

We’re proud of the gender balance we have in our European business, with a 59/41 percent split of all operational roles. Over the next year, we will localise our business further by investing in people with the local language skills and international experience we need to maximise local opportunities.

5 Africa

Stephen McCartney Managing Director, Africa
Performance across the region showed great improvement in 2017–2018 as political instability lessened and the leadership changes in Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe took effect. Overall revenue for the year was up by 27.3 percent.
  • £13.8m Revenue
  • 269 People

Infrastructure activity increased as greater confidence across the region strengthened several currencies. We started or continued work on five aviation projects, demonstrating that the trend in the construction of greenfield airports and upgrades to existing airports is to continue. Projects included Hoima International Airport in Uganda, which will support Uganda’s nascent petroleum industry.

Real estate remained buoyant in the commercial, leisure, healthcare and education sectors. Our capabilities for managing the refurbishments and construction of hospitals and related staff and student housing projects remained strong through our work with The Aga Khan in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. We also controlled high-end fit-outs of commercial spaces, completing projects for global corporates.

There was optimistic growth in natural resources as the increased oil price stimulated activity. In Southern Africa, we continue to assist our clients with capital projects, frameworks and a variety of services.

In Kenya, our merger with Mentor Management Ltd (MML), a Nairobi-based project management firm, was a major development and has positioned us as the largest project management consultancy in East Africa. The merger has increased our headcount, extended our presence in East Africa and significantly increased our capability in project management.

Being a responsible business is embedded in each of our nine offices across Africa. Our people continued to make a difference in their communities through contributions to children’s homes, toy libraries, education and food programmes. Our localisation programme engaged with local talent in every African office. The programme has 40 young professionals working towards their professional registration and nearly 30 graduates.

Looking ahead, we are positive about the level of potential growth in East and West Africa and confident in the talented people we have in place to maximise the opportunities.

6 Middle East

Alan Talabani Managing Director, Middle East
There were strong pockets of activity in 2017–2018, enabling overall revenue of £44.7m. Most countries in the region continue to invest in infrastructure and modernisation, this coupled with a rise in oil price makes us optimistic about the year ahead.
  • £44.7m Revenue
  • 346 People

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) entered a new phase of nation building, with government investment focusing on major infrastructure programmes and entirely new cities. We completed registration of our KSA office at the end of 2017 and with our experience in the region, high levels of local talent and insights into global best practice, we are in a good position to support the government in this exciting new era.

Following the downturn in natural resources, we have helped clients across the region implement cost and performance management strategies that increase efficiency and in turn make investments more resilient to change and outcomes on projects more predictable.

The driving force for the construction industry in the Middle East will be diversification away from oil which is critical to the regional economy. Investment in large, mixed-use development that attracts international attention will continue, however we also anticipate increased activity in high-tech and manufacturing.

We worked on several large-scale real estate projects that combine residential, hospitality, retail and commercial spaces. Makers District in Abu Dhabi is a trendsetting example of mixed-use developments. This year we began cost and commercial management of phase one.

Other retail projects over the past 12 months included project as well as cost and commercial management of Bloomingdale’s Middle East, a project by Al Tayer Insignia in Kuwait. Expo2020, taking place in Dubai, is a driving force behind infrastructure and real estate projects. We are supporting construction of three thematic districts entitled opportunity, mobility and sustainability, together with the project management of the UAE Pavilion.

New cities are being built across the region and the opportunity to set standards in sustainability is an exciting prospect. Over the next year, we will build our capacity to support innovation in sustainability and expect to expand our work in natural resources, enabling clients investing in renewables.

7 Asia

Duncan Stone Managing Director, Asia
2017–2018 was a positive year for our Asia business, with all sectors delivering improvements and growth. Overall revenue for the year was up 3.2 percent and the outlook optimistic, building on the recovery of the China market.
  • £26.0m Revenue
  • 520 People

China real estate in particular performed strongly, with several projects starting in high-tech and manufacturing and a significant volume of work on research and development portfolios for technology companies. We are well positioned to take advantage of China’s moves towards cleaner industries given our experience with global clients including Maserati and Nissan.

We increased our emphasis on working with local clients to diversify our client base and tackle more opportunity in commercial development and the public sector. We had significant success in India, where a combination of global best practice and local talent has been a winning formula as we work with several well-established businesses, including Godrej and HCL.

Our diversification across sectors progressed. We continued to develop our capability in data centres in China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Korea. In the automotive sector, we continue to support our clients with the shift in the retail world towards an online environment. There is an increase in spend in the leisure industry as regional economies mature and disposable incomes increase, we are working with Merlin Entertainment in its leisure and retail experience centres and continue to work with clients in the hospitality sector.

Our infrastructure sector grew during the year, with additional roles such as setting up projects and programmes for success and applying international experience. We are pleased to be associated with Virgin Hyperloop One in India on the proposed Mumbai-Pune project. This groundbreaking technology will radically change the high speed transportation industry and have a huge impact on the environment by saving an estimated 150,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Continued investment in our talent underpins our ambition to increase our local client base, this includes a graduate programme to ensure we engage with local talent as they enter our industry.

We played our part in supporting community groups. In India, we have partnered with local schools to build better infrastructure and help their skills development programmes.

8 Australia and New Zealand

Anooj Oodit Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand
We experienced a positive upturn in infrastructure, natural resources and real estate sectors given high levels of investment activity, especially in Sydney and Melbourne.
  • 15.4% revenue growth
  • £52.2m revenue

Overall revenue for the year was up 16 percent and the outlook is strong for sustained growth.

There are distinct patterns of activity in all states across Australia, with local governments influencing investment decisions. There is, however, a general trend for infrastructure investment, with major projects underway including Sydney Metro Rail, Western Sydney Airport and Melbourne Airport extension.

Renewable energy projects are also on the rise and we’re contributing to IE Snowy Hydro2. The decision to join forces with asset management specialists AMCL has strengthened our capability and reputation in infrastructure, with more clients seeking our support in the effective management of both new and existing assets.

The strongest performers in real estate were retail, health, education, supermarkets and shopping centres across the country, in addition to new hospitals in Perth and Christchurch.

Natural resources grew by 54 percent, a standout performance given the major slowdown in activity in preceding years. Several investments are being considered as we see a rise amongst the smaller mining and energy companies that we are supporting with investment decisions.

New Zealand’s performance has been positive. Our Auckland and Christchurch offices have strengthened capability and grown local client bases. Auckland has further expansion plans in the pipeline and there is good traction between the offices to support larger programmes.

We have engaged extensively with our industry this year, working with professional bodies on the continued professional development of our team. We have also extended our graduate programme, while actively pursuing diversity in our team. Our employees continue to be motivated by the social impact of their work, whether it is schools, hospitals or infrastructure they contribute to.

 


This content is part of the Annual review 2017/2018

Go to the main Annual review 2017/2018 page