We've experienced strong growth globally – most of our global regions were operating in challenging markets but three of our seven regions achieved net revenue growth rates in excess of 20 percent.
Net revenue has grown by 29 percent in the Americas, we've posted strong results, up 33 percent on the previous year, in Europe and secured strong growth in the UK, our largest region.
We are strengthening our presence and growing our reputation for driving better results from portfolios and major programmes.
Murray Rowden, Managing Director, The Americas
North America growth is a business priority and the region’s performance is realising the benefits of our continued investment, boosted by positive economic conditions. Strengthening our established hub offices in Houston, New York, San Francisco and Toronto has resulted in combined growth of 31 percent this year, and by more than 100 percent over the last five years.
As well as growth driven by high-tech and manufacturing clients, we’ve seen the value of our major programme offer rise as real estate campus and infrastructure spending increased. In natural resources, our overall net margin was back into double digits.
A long-term focus on global clients and the natural resources sector are still the bedrock of our Latin America business, where we see conditions improving and investment confidence increasing.
Building on the improving market conditions in mining and metals and our strength in the sector have enabled the region to continue to diversify into real estate and benefit from our global relationships. This year, we have also seen a rise in work in the oil and gas sector.
As a result, the business has grown by nine percent since last year. São Paulo, Brazil, has become an important hub for our operations, servicing increasing levels of inward investment combined with an increase in regional business confidence. Our strategy of identifying markets where global clients are investing across a variety of sectors remained our primary focus.
We have delivered fantastic results, buoyed by our business diversity and relationships with our clients.
Patricia Moore, Managing Director, UK
Our focus in the UK has been on continuing to drive strong performance, building our capability and moving up the value chain while delivering excellence for our clients. This approach has resulted in strong growth this year, despite wider unpredictability in the market.
Our growth in the defence sector during the year has laid the foundation to enable doubling our defence revenue next year, with our appointment as programme delivery partner for Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) and client side partner for Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), both part of the UK’s Ministry of Defence. Although the real estate sector has been less predictable on the whole, the business remained resilient in our key markets.
Securing the right talent to continue to support our clients and drive the business forward was a key priority across the region.
Paul Grace, Managing Director, Europe
Across the region, the number of major projects and programmes increased substantially, with greater complexity and risk requiring new approaches to delivery. Capital spend with technology companies in particular has been very strong. We also saw the role of real estate continue to change, with a strong push to do more for less; we adopted innovative approaches to achieve this.
Africa is changing… markets are improving; we have bigger ambitions and the regional talent and capability to deliver significant growth through our business.
Stephen McCartney, Managing Director, Africa
It was a solid year for our Africa business with revenue up ten percent, despite some economic and political uncertainty. This was underpinned by strong performances, in particular in the natural resources sector, in South Africa and in the real estate sector in Kenya, South Africa and Uganda, where we enjoyed successes with clients including Nissan.
We have established a strong East Africa presence through the acquisition of MML in Kenya and continue to build capability to take advantage of anticipated growth through the region.
Looking forward, China will be a key delivery partner across many of our markets in Africa and the recent ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement could present significant opportunities.
We have expanded and grown both our teams and services, demonstrating our long-term commitment to providing opportunities for our people and supporting our clients.
Alan Talabani, Managing Director, Middle East
This year, the Middle East has been characterised by the diversification of economies and large investment stimuli, evidenced through initiatives such as the Saudi Arabia Vision 2030, Qatar National Vision 2030, and Ghadan 21 in UAE. While volatility has remained, there have been significant opportunities.
Our business enjoyed a successful year. We have increased investment in our natural resources capability, broadened our service offer across the region, and launched our asset management division. We also widened our impact across the sports, leisure and hospitality sector, working on some of the region’s highest profile schemes, including Expo 2020.
Duncan Stone, Managing Director, Asia
Markets across Asia have steadily improved this year, with revenue up 21 percent. We made significant progress in key infrastructure projects, particularly in our aviation work in Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as in the development work of the Virgin Hyperloop One project in India. We secured some major key wins in the high-tech and manufacturing.
We have also substantially increased our management team with local country heads and sector experts and have moved into new markets, meaning that we are very well placed for our next phase of growth.
The growth of our reputation and influence has provided us with an opportunity to set a new benchmark of delivery in the construction industry and enabled us to make a positive impact on society.
Anooj Oodit, Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand
Our reputation and influence has grown significantly in the region this year. We have worked on the biggest infrastructure projects in all major conurbations across Australia and New Zealand. As well as winning work in the real estate, natural resources and infrastructure sectors, we saw the successful opening of major programmes such as Sydney Metro Northwest. The battery boom has prompted a resurgence in natural resources, and we also won our first significant project in the defence sector.
Although the Australian economy remained fragile, our year-on-year growth was 18 percent, we recruited 250 people, and opened a new office in Christchurch.