Global consulting firm PA Consulting has booked record financial performance in 2020, growing its revenues with double-digits despite the Covid-19-induced downturn.
When PA Consulting announced its results this time last year, the firm unveiled an ambitious growth plan for the coming years: becoming a £1 billion outfit by 2024. However, two months down the line, as the Covid-19 pandemic hit Western shores (PA is mainly active in Europe and North America), not many at the firm would have been convinced in over double-digit growth in 2020.
While the global consulting market contracted by an estimated 5% to 20% (depending on the region and modelling used), PA Consulting managed to outperform most of the industry’s majors and boutiques, with 12% growth in fee income, reaching £559 million for the year ending December 2020.
“Our strong financial performance in this extraordinary year is down to the phenomenal efforts of our people who, despite the challenges, delivered great work to a high standard with 96 per cent of our clients saying they would recommend us,” said Ken Toombs, the CEO of PA Consulting.
One of the notable clients PA served in 2020 was the UK Government on pandemic-response related work, among others helping policy makers with the rapid manufacturing of ventilators for hospitals. PA Consulting was the programme’s lead consultant, working with public and private sector stakeholders to design, approve, test and manufacture the ventilators.
Further reading: PA Consulting coordinating manufacturing of 20,000 ventilators.
Alongside client-driven organic growth, the results were also lifted by two acquisitions in the United States: that of Astro Studios (80 professionals) and Cooper Perkins (30 consultants). Meanwhile, PA Consulting itself saw its ownership swap hands, from financial sponsor Carlyle to global engineering group Jacobs.
“We’re delighted to have embarked on a relationship with a new investor,” continued Toombs. “The investment by Jacobs further strengthens our unique end-to-end offering and ability to help our clients achieve enduring results.”
Globally, PA Consulting has 3,300 consultants and engineers. The firm specialises in eight main sectors: consumer goods, industrial manufacturing, defence and security, energy and utilities, financial services, government, health and life sciences, and transport.