Grant Thornton UK has booked solid results in 2015, increasing revenue to £521 million, well above its ‘Ambition 2015’ target of £500 million. Its advisory business enjoyed 13% revenue growth, while Audit and Tax revenues increased by 5% and 5.5% respectively. The firm’s investment into its most valuable asset, its people, has also continued apace – with the addition of 300 new trainees, including many from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Grant Thornton UK’s financial data released for the year ending 30 June 2015 shows that the firm has seen its revenue increase by 1.6% on the year previous to £521 million, booking profit before tax of £82 million. The profit per partner increased modestly at 3.4% to £398,000.
The firm’s various service lines saw manly positive but mixed results. The Advisory business enjoyed strong growth in its Corporate Finance arm (40%), as a result of strong demand for forensic services following improvement in the UK’s economic conditions. Improving conditions means however, that fewer businesses are ending in failure, reducing demand for the firm's Recovery and Reorganisation business, with a resultant drop in revenues. Over the whole however, the firm’s Advisory business grew by a strong 13%, significantly outperforming for instance the 4.5% growth booked by EY’s Advisory practice and the market as whole. Audit and Tax service lines increased their revenues by 5% to £142 million and 5.5% to £96.3 million, respectively.
The consulting firm notes that it has had a successful year, following strong positive feedback from clients, “81% are highly satisfied and would recommend us to others.” According to the firm, its 2012 set ‘Ambition 2015’ goal of increasing revenue to more than £500 million has been surpassed. Further success towards the firm’s 2015 goals is being booked, it says, through the reinvestment of capital into its current and new people. The firm is now recognised as one of the top ten most attractive UK employers and the #21 most attractive employer for school leavers. The firm also boasts one of the most influential women in the City, with its CEO Sacha Romanovitch (who took over the helm from Scott Barnes in June this year) at number 12.
As part of its long term growth ambition, the accountancy and consultancy took in more than 300 trainees last year, 20% of which would not have been considered before academic barriers were dropped two years earlier, in a bid to improve social mobility. Investment into its people took the form of ‘cultural change and brand advocacy initiatives’, creating well rounded advisors to better service clients. The firm also recently adopted a plan to drop the partner model in exchange for a shared enterprise model – the first large business advisory in the UK to do so.
Investment also continued into infrastructure programmes, including the firm’s new collaborative office spaces in St. Albans, a CEO room in Leeds and a business hub in Essex. The firm has also further expanded its operations in Northern Ireland, creating 71 additional positions.
Romanovitch comments that the firm’s recent success is in line with the bold goals of the 2012 Ambition 2015. “I’m delighted that we have been able to deliver over and above on these. This has been a year of focus, investment, and also transition, as while officially taking up the role of CEO on 1 July, I’ve been working closely with Scott Barnes and my strategic leadership team to ensure we capitalise on the significant opportunity for the firm.” She adds that: “The outlook for the UK overall remains positive, and while this is increasingly dependent on volatile global economic forces, we are positive that the services sector will remain a key driver of growth in the global economy and we seek to continue to play our part.”
Globally Grant Thornton earlier this year unveiled total revenues of $4.7 billion, more than double its revenue in 2004, when it booked an aggregate fee income of $2.1 billion.