British Standards Institution delivers record revenue and profit for year ending 31 December 2016

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.

Howard Kerr: CEO at BSI

Howard Kerr: CEO at BSI

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:

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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