Survey forecasts strong year for consultants

Sales in environmental consultancy are set to increase by 9.4% during 2004, according to a survey of 623 companies by Plimsoll Publishing.1

The survey divides the industry into three clusters: those predicting a good year, those predicting a difficult year and those expecting next year to be the same as 2003.

Some 41% of consultancies are anticipating a buoyant market in 2004. Sales in these businesses are forecast to grow at 10%, and margins could be as a high

as 10.9%.

However, a further 33% of companies are planning to spend 2004 tackling internal problems. Their sales are more likely to be flat, but margins could reach the industry average of 4.3%.

At the bottom of the pile come 25% of consultancies which expect to carry forward their financial difficulties into 2004. Many of these companies have been losing money, and their immediate concern is to rectify this situation. Their sales could drop by as much as 10%.

ENDS' market analysis of the sector last year reported compound annual sales growth of 10% over the past three years, with an expectation that growth will accelerate (ENDS Report 334, p 9 ).

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