BSI maintains impressive growth rates in "year of significant investment"

16 April 2020

BSI, THE business improvement company heavily engaged with devising and issuing British Standards for both the UK security and fire sectors, has just announced its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2019. Revenue climbed by 7% to £548.1 million in a year which saw a substantial investment programme into the people and infrastructure of the global organisation.

The organisation's performance maintains 20 years of unbroken revenue growth. Average revenue per account climbed 3.5% to £5,900, although a substantial investment programme saw profits dip by 6% to £58.3 million. The BSI entered 2020 with £85.1 million of cash reserves.

Howard Kerr, CEO at the BSI, commented: “We have seamlessly restructured into an integrated global enterprise that's able to serve clients across the world with an expanding range of services and solutions. Two decades of unbroken revenue growth with all profits reinvested into our business gives us a strong foundation to inspire trust and resilience, while also reflecting our success in delivering our promises.”

BSI’s global footprint continues to grow, with the organisation now working in 195 countries with over 84,000 clients across a wide range of industries. 53% of the Fortune 500, 83% of the FTSE 100 and 81% of the Nikkei 225 place their trust in BSI for its global expertise.

In 2019, and as stated, a planned programme of investment in talent, infrastructure, product development and marketing saw profits dip, but nevertheless provided a strong foundation for future profit growth.

Two key acquisitions were completed in 2019: the US-based AppSec Consulting, a cyber security and information resilience company, and HDANZ (a healthcare auditing company based in Christchurch, New Zealand). In addition to boosting growth, these acquisitions allow the BSI to offer a wider range of auditing, compliance and improvement solutions to an ever-wider client base.

BSI is now managed through four global business streams: Knowledge Solutions, Assurance Services, Regulatory Services and Consulting Services, all of them supported by a transversal Commercial function to accelerate specific sectoral focus and growth. At actual exchange rates, Knowledge Solutions, made up of standards, services and information solutions, grew by 2% to attain revenues of £66.5 million. Assurance Services, covering systems certification and product certification (including the BSI Kitemark and training), grew 2% to £283 million. Regulatory Services, which includes systems and product certification of medical devices, saw 29% growth to revenues of £119.4 million. Consulting Services, which covers consultancy and supply chain solutions, grew by 3% to £79.2 million.

Increased engagement with Government

Ahead of Britain’s exit from the European Union, the BSI – in its role as the UK’s national standards body – has increased its engagement with the UK Government to reach a common understanding of the value of international standards. Two CEN and CENELEC pilots in partnership with ISO helped define a new model to launch a more agile standards development process producing deliverables within weeks rather than months.

The proportion of new standards published by the BSI of an international origin hit 95% in 2019, highlighting the vital role of the organisation in the international standardisation system. Key areas of focus included standards relating to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  

Kerr concluded: “Our rejuvenated strategy and business provides a strong natural hedge against economic, political and social issues. Currently, we're faced with the Coronavirus pandemic. There's no doubt that this will adversely impact our 2020 results, but it's too early to quantify this. We have reviewed our forecasts for the year and performed an analysis on them, concluding that we believe we have the resources and resilience to withstand this crisis. I'm confident that the trust in our services and the resilience of our global operations will see us continue to promote trust and resilience across our client base and drive BSI to further success.”

*The full online edition of the BSI's Annual Report and financial statements for 2019 can be found at