During 2008, Ramboll continued the growth it has experienced in recent years, positioning the company in the top league of European consultancy companies. Following several years with a steady double digit growth, 2008 was yet another year where the consultancy increased revenue, profit and the number of employees significantly.
Growth in revenue
In 2008, revenue grew by 19% from DKK 4,739.6 million in 2007 to 5,639.8 in 2008. Excluding currency effect, revenue increased by 21%, of which 10% was organic and 11% growth from acquisitions. The increase of the reporting currency DKK against the GBP, NOK and SEK in particular has affected the growth rate adversely with 2%.
Double digit organic growth was accomplished in Denmark, Norway, Finland, the United Kingdom and Russia. Growth from acquisitions is primarily related to Whitbybird in the United Kingdom, Jyvästek and Analytics in Finland and Attractor in Management Consulting Denmark in 2007 and the acquisition of IMIsoft in 2008.
8,848 employees in 23 countries
Since 2004 Ramboll has doubled its number of employees. In 2008 alone, around 1,900 people joined the company and the group now employs 8,848 experts working within the areas of: Buildings & Design, Infrastructure & Transport, Energy & Climate, Environment & Nature, Industry & Oil/Gas, IT & Telecom and Management & Society.
Ramboll's globalisation strategy focuses on emerging markets in Russia, the Middle East and India. In India, the acquired company IMIsoft has grown considerably from 650 to close to 1,000 employees. The company's services cover the design of mobile towers, software development and supervision of mobile networks on the booming Indian telecom market operating from 20 offices across the country.
The bottom line and cash flow keep up
The bottom line has also developed reasonably the previous year. In 2008, profit before tax rose by 13% to DKK 357.7 million. The operating profit margin (before goodwill amortisation) decreased from 8.5% in 2007 to 7.7%. This decline in margin is primarily explained by tougher market conditions in the United Kingdom, low performance in Informatics and one-off expenses in connection with investments in the future, such as implementing a new market oriented organisational structure and hosting a Ramboll Knowledge Experience event gathering more than 5,000 employees from more than 20 countries in order to share knowledge.
An increased focus on cash management in 2008 created a strong cash flow with a 16% increase in cash flow from operating activities and a cash conversion rate of 96% for the whole year. This led to Ramboll being virtually free from debt by the end of 2008.