Ambitious strategies in the East follow Arcadis’ purchase of DLS
Three of the UK’s largest consultants - Turner & Townsend, Sweett Group and Gleeds - are aiming to almost double the size of their Asian operations within three years, Building can reveal.
The news comes a week after Arcadis announced expansion in the region with the acquisition of the former Asia division of Davis Langdon, £79m-turnover Davis Langdon & Seah (DLS).
Turner & Townsend’s £13m-turnover Asia division is targeting 25-30% revenue growth a year over at least the “medium term”, its Asia managing director Duncan Stone said.
If the division meets its growth targets, it will double its turnover to at least £25m within three years.
Stone said T&T’s rate of growth in Asia could “accelerate if we are successful with mergers and acquisitions” and said the firm was in a “strong commercial position” to secure deals.
He added the firm was looking particularly at M&A options in India, China and north-east Asia generally, areas where the firm “wants to grow very quickly”.
Sweett Group is planning to almost double income from its combined Asia and Australasia division from £25m to £40m within three years.
Sweett chief executive Dean Webster said the expansion would be achieved through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions.
Sweett sees particular growth opportunities for its Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand businesses and is also exploring how to establish a presence in South Korea, Indonesia and Cambodia.
Gleeds chief executive Richard Steer said there was “almost exponential” potential for the firm in Asia, which is aiming to double its £6m-turnover Asian business within three years.
Arcadis, Aecom and Rider Levett Bucknall also said they expected their Asian businesses to grow, but did not disclose targets.
UK QS Faithful + Gould said it was aiming to grow its Asian division by 20% in the next three to four years, but declined to disclose turnover figures.
Webster said consultants could not afford to delay if they wanted to enter the Asian market.
He said: “It’s a maturing market […] it’s going to be quite difficult for people who aren’t established to enter that market now.”
Analysts this week valued Arcadis’ DLS takeover at £90m-100m, based on the published increase in the Dutch engineer’s debt following the transaction.
Arcadis would not comment on this figure.
For full story see Building’s news analysis
Asian turnover today
Asian turnover target in three years
* Figures are for Sweett Group’s combined Asia and Australasia division