Grant Thornton UK grows revenue to 521 million in 2015

16 December 2015

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.

Grant Thornton UK grows revenue to £521 million

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.

Business investment
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.


PA Consulting results reveal record 14% revenue growth

17 April 2019

Global professional services firm PA Consulting has reported another year of strong growth, outpacing the global consulting market significantly over the duration of 2018. PA’s revenue boomed by 14%, passing £455.8 million over the course of the year.

Founded in 1943, by Englishmen Ernest Butten, Tom Kirkham and David Seymour, the firm once known as Personnel Administration has since gone on to become one of the largest consulting firms in the world. PA Consulting Group, as it is now known, has over 2,600 professionals and a global presence spanning 18 countries. While turnover took a decade to recover from a rocky spell after the global financial crisis, PA Consulting is now firmly on the upward incline.

PA has booked strong growth in recent years, following its securing of private equity investment from the Carlyle Group in 2015. While the first full year of results following that move were slightly muted, due in part to the altering of how PA measured its results, the decision has clearly paid dividends since. Revenues jumped by 6% in 2017, hitting an all-time high of £400 million in the process.

Annual consulting revenues of PA Consulting versus UK market

Now, in the latest chapter of the firm’s rapid turnaround, the innovation and transformation consultancy has revealed things only got better in 2018. A set of record results released in April have confirmed that fee income rocketed up by 14% over the course of the prior 12 months, hitting £455.8 million. Considering the UK’s consulting market saw growth slow for the second year running (just 5.6%), PA’s performance is even more pronounced, especially in its first year of full results since influential Chair Marcus Agius stood down. 

The firm is also outpacing the global consulting market. Analytics firm Statista estimates that the consulting market expanded by 4.08% in 2018. As a result of such bullish demand, PA Consulting has also bolstered its staffing, boosting its consulting team’s headcount by 10% in the space of 12 months. 

PA’s team was further strengthened with its continued acquisition campaign, which brought three new firms into the fold during 2018. Boston-based innovation company Essential Design, specialist digital service design firm We Are Friday and London-based digital insight and strategy consultancy Sparkler all became part of PA over the course of the year. PA has also announced plans to recruit 400 professionals for its new digital centre in Belfast. 

‘Not traditional’

In terms of client work, in the UK PA supported Skipping Rocks Lab to create an edible alternative to single use plastic drink packaging, and worked on a notable restructuring project at disability charity Scope. Further afield, PA helped Norwegian authorities deliver their citizen-facing digital services, while in the US and India, PA partnered with Virgin Hyperloop One to build the first new mode of transport in a century, one that hopes to revolutionise travel. It even worked with United Nations to identify the technologies most likely to contribute to the achievement of the organization's Sustainable Development Goals.

Commenting on the year’s performance, Alan Middleton, PA Consulting CEO, said, “We’re not a traditional consulting firm and we think this is key to our ongoing success and why 98% of our clients recommend us… Our people are strategists, technologists, digital experts, consultants, designers, scientists and engineers – all of whom bring real-world experience, and apply it at pace. We offer the innovation, design, digital and transformation skills that our clients need to change, fast. There’s a sense of optimism behind our purpose. And it’s a feeling that inspires our people as well as our clients.”

The existing staff of PA also enjoyed a bumper year, as it was revealed that a refinancing manoeuver at the firm was expected to land over 1,000 employee shareholders a significant pay-out. The firm’s debt, which includes vendor loan notes put in place when Carlyle purchased the firm, is set to be refinanced in a deal worth £350 million.