2009 saw a lessening in customer demand across the spectrum of our businesses, for our competitors as much as for us. However, PA only saw this downturn start during the second quarter, rather than (as with most of our industry) in 2008 or at the beginning of 2009. As a result, while our revenue declined some 16 per cent and our operating profits some 3.1 per cent from 2008, our profits generated by our Consulting Division nonetheless have led to our third best year ever. Prompt actions by PA’s management, led by our CEO, Alan Middleton, ensured that PA was very active in the marketplace but also right sized during the year to meet the lessened level of customer demand. As we enter 2010, we see the signs of demand for our services building up again from our clients, so hope to see a more buoyant PA as the year develops.
Throughout this difficult time, our consultants continued to deliver great work across a wide variety of industries, geographies and client services. As always, our people’s work, across the spectrum, was of the highest quality and I would like to congratulate everyone at PA for delivering so much good work for clients in such a tough environment.
Our share price at the end of 2009 was £7.83, representing an increase of 14 per cent on 2008. In 2008, we demerged our Ventures business, thereby spinning out £2.93 per share. The share price of the remaining PA Consulting business has increased by 42 per cent (from £5.50 to £7.83) over 18 months, at a time when share markets across the world fell significantly. This shows the robustness of the PA business model as well as of its ownership model. The rewards of the share price increase go to all those PA employees who have grown their shareholdings over the years and helped build PA to its current position of strength.
While the global financial markets have been in turmoil, PA has been protected from many of the effects of the downturn, due to its continued debt-free position and tight cash management. At the end of 2009, PA had over £178 million of cash and short-term investments on its balance sheet.
Find our more about how our leadership team continued to excel.
Read more about how we are rising to the challenges in 2010.
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