Business standards company the British Standards Institution (BSI) has announced its results for the year ending 31 December 2016. Record global revenue of £401.8 million (representing a rise of 21%) was achieved despite increasing levels of economic, political and social uncertainty in global markets. Underlying operating profit rose by 42% to reach £50.1 million (2015: £35.4 million), with strong performance across the Americas, the EMEA and the Asia Pacific region enhanced by positive currency effects (which served to add another 9% to overall revenue growth).
Organic revenue at constant exchange rates grew by 9%, while in parallel new orders escalated by 17%.
Howard Kerr, CEO at the BSI Group, commented: “BSI is a truly integrated global enterprise. Our record results show that our principle of organisational resilience, which underpins our strategy, has never been more relevant to modern businesses. 2016 was a year of increasing economic, political and social uncertainty, creating both challenges and opportunities for our clients worldwide. Success requires adaptation, and we’re working with industry to help unlock the benefits of international trade and a wide range of new technologies, among them smart cities and artificial intelligence.”
BSI attracted a record number of clients, taking its total client base to 81,000 across 181 countries worldwide, including 64% of the FTSE 100, 53% of the Fortune 500 and 58% of the Nikkei Index. BSI’s global workforce grew by 9% to 3,835. Also, the company added seven new offices, including its first sites in Ireland and New Zealand.
Expansion of BSI’s range of products and services, aligned to its organisational resilience approach, helped increase average revenue per account by some 14%.
BSI’s complementary products and services span three areas: Knowledge, Assurance and Compliance. Knowledge, made up of standards development and publishing, grew by 6% to attain revenues of £59.4 million. Covering systems and product certification and training, Assurance grew by 19% to £292.2 million.
Compliance, which includes a growing consultancy offer and supply chain services, saw 76% growth to reach revenues of £49.8 million.
BSI made “strong progress” towards its targeted financial objective of £500 million of revenues by 2018 with 9% organic growth complemented by five acquisitions during the year and positive currency effects. In 2016, BSI acquired two information security organisations in Europe, namely Espion in Ireland and Info-Assure in the UK, which have now formed BSI’s Cyber Security and Information Resilience stream.
In addition, BSI acquired EHS consultancy businesses in the US – namely Atrium, Creative Environmental Solutions and Quantum Management Group – in turn adding to its 2015 EHS acquisitions to create more of a nationwide offer in the States.
In terms of standards policy, 2016 was dominated by the outcome of the EU Referendum in June. As the UK’s national standards body, the BSI necessarily remained neutral in the prior debate. Since then, the business has been deeply engaged in preparations with industry, UK Government, consumer groups and all other stakeholders to shape a clear strategy for UK experts such that they can continue to influence the development of the European and international standards upon which UK industries and consumers rely.
Kerr concluded: “The market volatility we’ve seen worldwide in 2016 is likely to continue this year and beyond. However, I’m confident that our acquisitions and investments will continue to provide the resilience needed within our own business to maintain the added value for our clients which, in turn, will enable them to be more resilient.”
*The BSI’s Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2016 can be accessed online at: http://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/about-bsi/financial-information/