Embattled consultant Halcrow cut staff numbers by over 1,000 and saw its fee earnings fall 16% in the last year, according to exclusive figures revealed by NCE’s Consultants File published this week.
The figures reveal the extent of the cutbacks being made at the firm, which was bought by US consultant CH2M Hill in September last year. The decision to sell came after what the firm described as a “testing” 2010.
Halcrow confirmed to NCE that the business had last month restructured its operations outside North America.
In a statement circulated to staff and now seen by NCE, Halcrow managing director Greg McIntyre said that the changes were being made to improve project delivery and better serve clients’ needs.
“Where we have made roles redundant, in many cases we have been able to find alternative, project-based roles for the individuals affected,” he added.
It is unclear how many redundancies the restructure may have forced but the Consultants File entry confirms that 1,079 fewer staff worked for the firm on 2 January this year than did on the same day in 2011.
Total civil and structural staff numbers fell by 840 in the same period.
The firm employs 5,904 staff of which 4,250 are civil and structural, according to the File.
Senior management jobs affected
Sources told NCE that the restructure has affected jobs at senior management and director level at Halcrow, with some seeing their global responsibilities curtailed.
At the time of the takeover CH2M Hill main board member Jacque Rast told NCE that the Halcrow’s world-class design and consultancy skills were a perfect fit for her firm. She initially took on the role of Halcrow chief executive but is now the consultant’s chairman.
Then Halcrow chief executive Peter Gammie admitted that the size and scope of his firm’s offering had meant it had struggled to win work with major international clients.
According to Rast, Halcrow’s operations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and South America were of great appeal to CH2M Hill, as well as its competencies in transport, water and environment.
A spokesman said that the business had been realigned to match the structure regionally to that of CH2M Hill, and that the changes were for “good solid business reasons”.