2014 was an exceptional year for PA and we should all feel proud and delighted with the strong financial performance, which reflects our unwavering focus on ‘making the difference’ for our clients worldwide. Our Group turnover for 2014 was £423 million and our operating profit was £53.3 million (up 26%). At the end of 2014, our share price was 891 pence, representing an increase of 22% on 2013.
Raising our brand profile
Last year I made a commitment to increase visibility of PA across our key markets. We have made good progress towards this in 2014: welcoming a number of new clients, including Sainsbury’s Bank and the Charity Commission, and extending our reach in Schroders and NHS England. I look forward to working closely with Alan, Andrew and the rest of the leadership team as we develop these relationships in 2015 and beyond.
Our participation in a number of important industry events has also done much to raise PA’s profile. This includes our sponsorship of Denmark’s renowned Innovation Summit; the PA ReliabilityOne awards that recognise excellence in US utility businesses; and our flagship innovation event in London, which unites leaders from across industry to discuss and debate barriers to innovation. New initiatives are planned throughout 2015, and we are working with a number of external partners to strengthen our reputation further and develop a powerful corporate identity.
Entering new markets
The year 2014 also marked our entry into Latin American markets, with the opening of PA’s first Mexico office. This region presents a number of exciting opportunities for PA – notably in the banking, aviation and energy sectors – and our team in Mexico bring a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities faced by local clients. I have every confidence that they will play a valuable role in growing PA’s business in the future.
Setting strategic priorities
PA’s impressive growth over the past 70 years owes much to our readiness to adapt and our ability to remain ahead of our time. Today it is increasingly clear that the demand for traditional consultancy is changing, and in the second half of 2014 we identified several corporate priorities that will help the firm to thrive. In particular, these include the need for greater global collaboration to take our best in class service capability to our clients and the ongoing development of our people to ensure we continue to strengthen our deep sector expertise.
To achieve these priorities, we will introduce a number of changes to PA’s operating model in 2015. These include forming strong global centres of sector and service expertise, which will collaborate closely to deliver exceptional results for our clients. These centres will be underpinned by a more rigorous approach to talent recruitment and development.
2015 and beyond
One of the highlights of my first year as chairman has been meeting and working with more and more of PA’s people. I cannot tell you how proud it makes me feel to hear from our customers just how much they value the work we do for them. We made good progress last year. We must now build on these results in 2015 and harness the opportunities presented by a more optimistic economic environment. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank our people for all their continued dedication, hard work and professionalism.