Diversification drives growth at environmental consultancy

Dr Adrian Williams

APEM, one of Europe’s leading environmental consultancies, has announced record results, global expansion and ambitious plans for the future.

Figures just released for the financial year ending December 31, 2019 show the Stockport business achieved a 13% increase in revenues to £11.3m and pre-tax profits of £2,622,975, compared with £1,967,730 in 2018.

Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, the company is ahead of its plan for 2020 and is confident of another year of growth.

Since leading a management buyout in March 2019, supported by WestBridge, the company has achieved several milestones under the leadership of chief executive Dr Adrian Williams and Dr Stuart Clough, director and president of APEM Inc, the company’s US subsidiary.

As well as being awarded AMP 7 Framework contracts by Bristol Water, Southern Water, United Utilities, Welsh Water, Severn Trent Water and Yorkshire Water, the company attracted new project clients including Taylor Wimpey, Strategic Pipeline Alliance, Trant and Enterprize Energy.

Named Consultancy of the Year at the 2019 Water Industry Awards, APEM also received UKAS accreditation for the 10th consecutive year, passed its UVDB audit with outstanding results and was listed in the top 30 UK environmental consulting firms by Environment Analyst.

The company expanded globally and now works across four continents, it added an eighth UK site in Southampton, and made a number of senior management and specialist expertise appointments.

These include Andy Lockwood as chairman, Nicola Hunter as finance director, Keith Walker as commercial director, Michelle Lewis as HR director, and Mike Redding, Paul Stebbing and Jessica Kent, who respectively bring expertise in engineering, invasive non-native species and terrestrial ecology.

More appointments are in the pipeline as the company continues to scale up for the next phase of growth.

Dr Adrian Williams said: “It has been an absolute whirlwind of a year.

“Our financial results were very pleasing and a testimony to the hard work and dedication of the entire team. Even more encouraging is the fact that we are already ahead of target for this year, too, despite COVID-19.

“Lockdown has presented challenges, but we’ve proven to be resilient.

“Much of the work we undertake is classified as essential, so we have been fortunate that our revenues, order book and tender activity have remained buoyant across most divisions.

“We have expanded our range of services to include biodiversity net gain (BNG), natural capital and invasive non-native species (INNS).

“We have also bolstered our engineering and design capability and, perhaps most significantly, established terrestrial ecology as a mainstay of our offering and expertise.”

He added: “At the same time, investment in new remote sensing equipment has underpinned both domestic and overseas growth in aerial surveys, allowing us to expand our global presence.

“WestBridge has brought increased rigour to our strategic management and firepower to our growth plans. In 2020 and beyond, we will continue to grow through a combination of organic investment and complementary acquisitions.”

The business Headquartered has eight offices across the UK, one in Germany and one soon to open in the USA, all supported by more than 130 staff.