Delivering on our Strategy
Regarding client centricity, we made significant progress with implementation of several cross-business client initiatives as well as group and key account management programmes leading to consistently high and improving client satisfaction scores. In some of our biggest and most complex global accounts, we saw a positive development with double-digits growth rates significantly above the company average. In others, we were negatively impacted by slower client activity. In 2019, we decided to transform our current nine global key accounts into seventy company focus accounts across the company to have a broader impact on our general client approach.
The strategy’s five elements
- Become truly client-centric to bring the best of Ramboll
- Further develop and grow our regional strongholds
- Grow internationally through Spearhead services building on our platform
- Be a recognised leader for sustainability
- Secure the future by accelerating digitalisation
Strongholds and main geographies
In terms of strongholds, main geographies, 2019 saw great progress in our emerging strongholds US, UK and Germany. The Americas is now our biggest geographical business unit with revenues of DKK 3.739 million. The integration of OBG has progressed very successfully and the 2019 combined revenue have exceeded the targets set out in the acquisition business case by 70 per cent. Like the Americas, on 1 January 2019, Germany was established as a full-fledged business unit with all our markets represented and brought together under a common strategy and leadership. Our “Win in the UK” strategy continued on track. Through focus and investments in leadership, brand and capabilities, our UK business has since 2016, and despite Brexit, achieved a 9 per cent annual growth and gone from loss-making to a 5 per cent EBITA margin.
Our traditional Nordic strongholds remain attractive markets where we are one of the market leaders. However, the consolidation and pressure from non-Nordic players continues and our profitability targets for the Nordics have not been fully met in 2019 in all country units. Through our Spearheads, specialised service areas that target specific client and market segments, we have successfully leveraged our global knowledge and competence across Nordic borders to drive organic growth – especially in our traditionally more local Buildings and Transport businesses. Through increased digitalisation, automation and offshoring of detailed design, which leads to streamlining of processes, we are creating differentiating offerings for our clients.
Ramboll’s 17 Global Spearhead Services
- High Rise
- Rail Systems
- Major Crossings
- Smart Mobility
- Energy Systems
- Towers & Telecom
- Power Generation
- Energy from Waste
- Wind Energy
- Energy Field Development
- Social and Economic Impact
- Stakeholder Intelligence
- Climate Adaptation and Landscape
- Water and Wastewater Treatment
Environment & Health
- Impact Assessment
2019 was the second successful year for our global Spearheads. The 17 Spearheads achieved revenue growth of 15 per cent and EBITA margin of 7.1 per cent. The successful performance is mainly achieved organically and demonstrates how our Spearheads through critical mass, specialization and internationalisation drive differentiation and results.
As part of Ramboll’s sustainability strategy, we are aligning our portfolio with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and sustainability strategies have been implemented in all Ramboll markets. In 2016, we set a target to increase our revenue from services contributing directly and positively to the SDGs with more than 40 per cent in 2020. This target was already reached in 2019 with an increase in SDG-related revenue of 57 per cent compared to 2016. In 2019, the revenue contributing directly and positively to the SDGs exceeded DKK 8 billion, equivalent to 59 per cent of our total revenue.
Throughout 2019, Ramboll has progressed well with the innovation strategy and implementations that were initiated in 2018. We have completed the second successful cycle of Ramboll’s global innovation programme, focused on knowledge management and sharing across the company, and established three global Centres of Excellence. The newly established Digital Development Centre in India is now operational and handling projects from all business units. To increase global impact, we have set targets for all geographies in relation to automation and effects on cost and quality, going into 2020.
Ramboll’s operating landscape is being shaped by global trends that transcend the specific countries or markets where Ramboll is present, and by the local developments in those markets and geographies. In the UK, we foresee market challenges due to the overall low confidence of clients in light of Brexit uncertainty. The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has created significant uncertainty in the global economy and will be negatively impacting demand in our core markets. However, it is for now difficult to assess exactly how and to what extend the crisis will shape market conditions and impact our performance. Given this uncertainty the formation of a new group strategy replacing Winning Together that was due for 2020 has been postponed and we will continue the current Winning Together strategy for one additional year.
Highlights of 2019