More focus to be on front end advisory services and specific subsectors
WSP president and chief executive officer Pierre Shoiry presented WSP’s direction for 2015-2018 at its annual shareholders’ meeting on May 21.
Held at the McCord Museum on Sherbrooke Street in downtown Montreal, the meeting was told that the company’s vision is, “Always be the first choice for clients, partners and employees.”
WSP has transformed itself in recent years. From a Quebec company called GENIVAR, it acquired many consulting engineering firms across Canada during the first decade of this century. In 2012 it acquired the massive U.K. -based consulting engineers WSP, then last year acquired global giant Parsons Brinckerhoff. Worldwide WSP now has 31,000 employees. As part of the strategic plan announced last week, its goal is to reach a workforce of 45,000 around the world by 2018.
Shoiry outlined the 2015-2018 strategic plan according to three main elements: acquisitions, organic growth and strategic initiatives.
In acquisitions, the company intends to enhance its geographic and market sector footprint through “a disciplined and structured M&A [mergers and acquisitions] strategy.” Expansion will be in Canada, the U.S., U.K., the Nordic countries, Australia, Colombia and China, as well as selected countries in South Asia and Middle East. The company will evaluate its expansion in Continental Europe, South America and Africa.
It will focus its efforts “on consolidating and developing locally its core markets of building, transportation, infrastructure and environment and will expand its resource base by following its existing clients globally. It also wants to enhance its presence in the industrial and energy sectors.
As part of its organic growth the company will be leveraging its technical networks, cross-selling activities, and “revenue synergy strategies.”
In strategic initiatives, Shoiry noted that its focus will be to:
— develop more front-end advisory services such as project/program management, advisory services in buildings sciences, as well as infrastructure and environmental consulting;
— globally leverage capabilities in specific subsectors such as high-rise building, rail, aviation, healthcare, large urban centres and sustainability;
— capitalize on the corporation’s strategic relationships with its clients to develop and invest in infrastructure projects that require non-traditional funding while avoiding exposure to construction risk.
Financially, by the end of 2018, WSP aims to:
— Reach $6 billion in net revenues through a combination of organic and acquisitive growth. Of this, $1.3 billion should be achieved through acquisitions.
— Deliver EBITDA margins higher than 11%.
Shoiry concluded: “We are excited about the opportunities that will arise in the future and have great confidence in our people to achieve these objectives. The success of this strategic plan will be measured in terms of client retention, organic growth, employee engagement, operational performance and, of course, return on investment for shareholders.”
Click here to see the WSP press release.