Consultant spells out four year growth plan

Paul flatt

Hurley Palmer Flatt is eyeing growth in Europe and further afield as the firm plots a strategy to more than double earnings over the next four years.

The engineer, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year after being founded by John Hurley back in 1968, said it wants to post £10m in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) by 2021 after seeing this figure leap 50% to £4.2m in the year to March 2017.

Hurley Palmer Flatt, which towards the end of 2016 snapped up the 50-strong, £4m turnover civil and structural engineer Bradbrook Consulting for an undisclosed sum, has 450 staff including 41 directors spread across its five UK offices, which include London and Manchester, and five overseas branches in New York, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore and Sydney.

Chairman and chief executive Paul Flatt (pictured) said further acquisitions would help the firm achieve 50% of its 2021 growth targets.

But he added: “Anything we buy has got to add value and bring with it sustainable EBITDA.”

Flatt said he wanted the consultant to establish new outposts in Hong Kong, Canada, Ireland and the Benelux countries.

He said: “We get a lot of traction in Hong Kong. There is a lot of demand from our tech clients and in Canada we like the space as it has a good cultural alignment. We’ve just finished [telecom firm] Ericsson’s new data centre in Montreal.”

In its latest full year financial results, the consultant saw pre-tax profit rocket to £2.2m in the 12 months to March last year, up from £401,280, while income jumped 15% to £32.8m.

The firm has recently completed work on Brookfield’s revamp of London Wall and British Land’s redevelopment of 5 Broadgate – designed by Make and built by Mace – for finance firm UBS.

It is currently working on Brookfield’s skyscraper 100 Bishopsgate and the new European headquarters for US bank Wells Fargo near the Bank of England along with Galliard Homes’ £300m mixed-use scheme The Stage in Shoreditch.