Financial Statements of Arup Group Limited for the year ended 31 March 2019.

Arup has continued to create work of real quality and make a positive contribution to communities in every corner of the world, despite these uncertain and turbulent times.

Our financial position remains robust. However, our real strength lies with our members who continue to demonstrate both ingenuity and determination, however big the challenge.

Sustainable development

There is no escaping the fact that the global geo-political situation is volatile and it’s getting harder for any business to plan with certainty. Equally, other factors like rapid urbanisation, social inequality, climate change and the constantly expanding impact of new technology are all having a major effect on the clients we work for.

These issues are all related. That’s why we took the decision in 2017 to build our response around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The comprehensive, action-based nature of these goals aligns with our own values. As advisors, designers and engineers, we see these issues up close, every day. The SDGs offer us a platform to do something substantive across every facet of our operations, and they’re providing additional impetus to many of the good things our firm has already been doing for some time. 

Geographic strength

Against a turbulent global picture, we have again performed well across all our regions and all our markets this year. Revenue – a consequence of our success rather than an end in itself –  has grown by 9.9% to £1,714.8m, with operating profit (before staff profit-sharing) of £135.4m.

We have helped shape a better world in 143 countries this year. And in each of our five regions, we want to be where the challenges are and where there is an opportunity for us to make a difference.

In North America we continue to see an increasing demand for our services in both the US and Canada. Our work here has been hugely varied, from iconic projects like the redevelopment of Seattle’s Space Needle, to our specialist acoustic collaboration with the musician Björk.  

Another area of rapid expansion is South East Asia. We have strengthened and grown our operations in Vietnam this year and expect to continue increasing our presence in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Mactan-Cebu Philippines Airport is a good example of the impact we are making.

Expanding impact

For much of our history, design, architecture, planning and engineering has been Arup’s main focus. Over the last decade our advisory services have grown in importance.

These advisory services, anchored in our technical expertise, are now making a real difference to our clients’ businesses. Technical experts are working hand-in-hand with colleagues skilled in strategy, economics, finance, sustainability, operations and change management. 

Together, our work allows clients to, for example, understand the viability and potential benefits of proposed schemes, enabling them to invest with greater confidence. It also allows them to improve the development and performance of assets ranging from industrial plants to airports. Our work advising the hugely complex London Power Tunnels project clearly illustrates the benefits we can bring.

Digital leadership

Digital technology, in all its different forms, is another area of significant development. We’re making huge strides forward in the way we collect, manage and use data to inform everything we do. We’re also rapidly expanding our use of automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence to solve new and greater problems.

With our clients, advanced technology is expanding our ambitions  and capabilities. Enhanced modelling techniques are making designs for ground-breaking structures like the Forest Tower in Denmark possible. Machine learning is helping us implement more effective flood management strategies, with benefits for vulnerable communities around the world. Meanwhile, our use of blockchain technology is allowing young homeless people in Berlin to access critical services without the need for bank accounts or credit cards.

Getting the most out of digital advances is as much about people  

as processing power, and our firm-wide digital transformation programme is beginning to pay dividends. The tools our people develop and the data they depend on are being shared in new ways, enabling a greater level of collaboration than ever before.  

Membership mindset

Our founder, Sir Ove Arup, often spoke about the importance of people. How people are ‘members’ of organisations they want to be part of. Their participation is voluntary, and a reflection of what Sir Ove called ‘unity and enthusiasm’. Everyone at Arup is always eager to nurture this mindset, ensuring a thriving and collaborative culture for all our members.

This will see us increasingly welcoming people with a wider range  of skills. It also sees us actively celebrating diversity and inclusion.  In a traditionally male dominated profession we can’t create perfect gender balance overnight. What we can do is make it a constant focus and measure our progress year-by-year.

As I begin my time as Chairman, I’m conscious that I am very much a steward. My goal is clear – to ensure that our firm continues to do great work to the benefit of our clients and communities, through a team of talented people who are happy and fulfilled.

Alan Belfield, Chair, Arup Group


Financial Statement 2019