Pegasus Tony Bateman Samantha Kerby And Jim Tarzey
From left: Tony Bateman, Samantha Kerby and Jim Tarzey

Pegasus profits from ‘successful Brexit business plan’

Strong performance in Manchester and Liverpool contributed to rising turnover and profit at the planning consultant last year.

MD Tony Bateman, who will leave the business next year, said: “Three years ago, following the vote to leave the EU, we put in place a Brexit Business Plan. As a result, we have managed in the last year to significantly increase our revenue and profitability, despite difficult trading conditions.

“The results represent a very strong year of growth against the current economic uncertainties caused by Brexit and show the benefit of our adopting a business plan and indeed our accurate projection that Brexit would cause a slowdown in economic growth across the country.”

In its annual financial results for the year up to 30 June 2019, Pegasus Group has seen annual revenue grow by 9.8% to £28.18m (£25.66m in 2017/18), while profits increased by 18.6% to £4.75m (£4.0m in 2017/18).

Pegasus has 14 offices around the UK and Ireland. There are 25 staff in the North West across the two offices, a growth of nine last year. Commenting on the region’s performance Bateman added: “Pegasus Group do not have individual profit centres, but I can confirm that we have continued to grow our offices in Liverpool and Manchester, and both have played a significant part in our overall performance.

“In particular, we have seen growth in economics work while the introduction of urban design and environment sector work continues to complement the planning functions in these offices.

“In addition, the property work that has been established in Liverpool, is now dealing with a significant level of telecommunications work linked to the rollout of 5G both in the UK and across Ireland.”

The group’s subsequent half-year results for the six months to 31 December 2019 show a profit of £3.22m, up from £2.49m the previous year.

Finance director, Samantha Kerby, said in the annual report: “We are of the view that until Brexit is fully determined we shall continue to see low levels of economic growth in the country and our strategy reflects this view. Thus, we remain cautious about the future, but still seek to plan to grow the company.

“We are seeking as part of our business plan and as a response to the current trading conditions to keep a strong control on costs, ensure that we manage cash flow effectively and also to seek to grow revenue in a number of different areas which synthesise with the existing business. This was of course also the position we set out last year and we have seen significant movement in our diversification strategy with new business areas in transportation and property as well as new office growth. We seek this year to build on this still further both geographically and organically.”

Doubling down

Pegasus plans to double the size of the business over the next 10 years while continuing to build the brand based on the current five sectors of planning, design, environment, economics and heritage.

Pegasus Group was founded 16 years ago to offer quality planning advice, a service which has remained at the core of the company. Today however, planning accounts for just under 50% of the work carried out.

Bateman added: “Operating our Brexit business plan has resulted in the company continuing its diversification policy, so we are not as reliant as previously on housebuilding or retail work. Buoyant areas for us currently include renewable energy work on wind farms, solar energy schemes, energy through waste as well as work relating to telecoms with the 5G roll out.”

In the last financial year, the company opened two new offices, in Newcastle and Dublin, and the vision remains to expand further with plans for a fifteenth office, in the Solent, and a future office in Scotland.

The managing director concluded his report with the news that he is to step down in July 2021.

He said: “I have been involved in the overall management of the company from its inception some 16 years ago, it has been a great privilege to see the company grow in the way it has over that time.

“As part of my work a succession strategy was put into place which allows both new equity directors into the company and allows others to retire. It is now time for me to use that strategy and retire myself. I will be leaving Pegasus, therefore, in July 2021. I can assure you though that the company will continue its move forward with the same ethos and with mainly the same management team.”

Paying tribute to him, Pegasus Group Chairman Jim Tarzey said: “Tony’s presence in the business will be greatly missed as he has guided us with vision, clarity and a determination to succeed.

“I would like to offer my personal thanks to Tony for his unwavering support over the past 16 years while assuring him that the business is in safe hands as we put in place management structure plans to take us forward beyond July 2021.”

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