Letter from CEO and Chair
2019 was a satisfying year for Ramboll. Overall revenue grew to DKK 14.2 billion and operating profit (EBITA) grew 28 per cent to DKK 763 million.
In 2019, we continued to develop our global offering and geographical presence to serve our clients better and deliver sustainable solutions that benefit societies and stakeholders across the world.
At Ramboll, we strive to build close partnerships with our clients to fully understand and truly support what drives their long-term sustainable success. In 2019, we recorded an all-time-high client satisfaction with the projects we delivered. We also started measuring the general satisfaction and loyalty of our clients, and the response was equally at a very high level.
Ramboll continued our strong focus on sustainability which is reflected in the performance of our portfolio. In 2019, activities supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals accounted for 59 per cent of company revenue representing a growth of 57 per cent compared to 2016. Specifically in Energy and Water, we have achieved strong growth. Among our most prominent sustainable projects in 2019 were our involvement in assisting with development and implementation of a Smart City concept in eight Southeast Asian countries and developing a new vision for Lake Ontario in the US.
Regarding our global offering, our seventeen Spearheads continued to be drivers of growth and form a strong competitive advantage when combined with deep client insight and local presence. Spearheads are services that are offered globally and target a specific sector or client segment. In 2019, our Spearheads grew 15 per cent, and they build on expertise areas where Ramboll has a leading edge, such as Offshore Wind, High Rise Buildings, Digital Rail or Environmental Impact Assessment.
In High Rise, we significantly strengthened our offering through the acquisition of Web Structures – a Singapore-based leader in tall buildings – which will be effective as of 2020. The acquisition of the strategic transport planning and Smart Mobility company Strafica in Finland strengthened our position as a tech-enabled consulting company with a leading offering in Smart Mobility.
Our strategic focus on digital has led to development of innovations that will strengthen our value-add to clients. We have accelerated our automation and digital deliveries through our Digital Development Centre in India.
A key milestone in 2019 was the acquisition of the globally renowned architecture company Henning Larsen. The acquisition means that Ramboll and Henning Larsen will be able to create value for our clients earlier in the project cycle and more holistically through integrated design solutions combining architecture services with technical and economic expertise. The acquisition is effective from 2 January 2020.
Geographically, we have strengthened our position in North America, UK and Germany. In North America the integration of O’Brien & Gere (OBG) progressed according to plan and delivered a significant growth of 18 per cent in 2019. In terms of revenue Americas is now Ramboll’s largest geographical business unit.
All in all, Ramboll delivered a solid result in 2019 and progressed the strategic development of the company further. In addition, we have re-organised our support functions and conducted a thorough review of our operations leading to divestment, closing, or re-scoping of departments and offices that were underperforming. Both initiatives have given a good foundation for Ramboll’s future performance and development.
The solid foundation and good financial result in 2019 have made Ramboll well equipped to steer through the COVID-19 situation arisen early in 2020. For now, the virus’ impact on Ramboll cannot be fully estimated.
The positive outcome of 2019 was only possible due to our strong collaboration with our clients and stakeholders and through the deep expertise and dedication of our colleagues. We would like to thank them all for their collaboration during 2019.
Highlights of 2019