Recession's Winners & Losers in UK Enviro Consultancy21 Jun 2011 • by Natalie Aster
More than two-thirds of the UK’s leading environmental consulting (EC) practices reduced staff numbers in 2009 in response to recession, according to the latest sector analysis “2010 Market Assessment of the UK Environmental Consulting Sector” by Environment Analyst.
The biggest headcount reductions in response to recession were made by ERM, Waterman Energy Environment & Design and WYG Environment.
Only three of the top 32 firms identified in the report bucked the trend and expanded their UK EC teams last year. They are Aecom, Amec (Earth & Environmental) and Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB), with the latter increasing its full-time equivalent staff numbers by almost 16%. PB was also one of the strongest performers in terms of revenue growth in 2009, achieving a double-digit increase against an overall UK EC market decline of 3.0%.
The total UK market for environmenal consultancy was valued at £1.36 billion last year.
The report’s author Liz Trew comments: “It came as something of a shock to many environmental consultancy managers that their businesses were not as immune to recession - due to underlying legislative drivers - as they had hoped. While some have continued to perform extremely well, it pushed many of the larger firms to review their strategic direction and make difficult – in some cases long overdue - decisions that will ultimately see them emerge leaner, stronger and more efficient.”
2010 Market Assessment of the UK Environmental Consulting Sector
Published: August 2010
Price: US$ 1, 520
Environment Analyst's report includes comparative analysis and in-depth profiles of each of the top 32 UK EC firms, whose combined revenues accounted for 71% of the environmental consultancy market in 2009. Company profiles reveal key staff and revenue figures, a breakdown of revenue by core service area and client sector, as well as Environment Analyst’s commentary on the business strategy, strengths, weaknesses and growth opportunities for each company.
Declining market share
Eleven of the top 32 practices suffered loss of market share during 2009 – including market leader RPS Group - while 16 firms were able to improve on their position. Rankings of the leading firms are shown in the table opposite.
Headline findings from Environment Analyst's report suggest that firms with significant revenue from the public sector were generally more resilient than those heavily reliant on the private sector in 2009. This is a situation likely to reverse in 2010 as the newly-elected UK government tightens its purse strings.
The data and conclusions presented in the report is the culmination of several months' in-depth analysis, which included two market surveys and interpretation of data collated from a variety of sources, including company annual reports and accounts. It includes a 152-slide executive presentation and 74-page competitor analysis.
More information can be found in the report “2010 Market Assessment of the UK Environmental Consulting Sector” by Environment Analyst Publishing & Research.
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