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Grant Thornton invests for future growth

Leading business and financial adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP has delivered revenue of £521m for the financial year ending 30 June 2015 - above and beyond the £500m target that was set out in its Ambition 2015 strategy – as the firm continues to make significant investments to support future growth.

Key information:

  • Revenue increase to £521m; a 1.6% increase year-on-year
  • Profit before tax of £82m
  • Distributable profit per partner up 3.4% to £398,000

Commenting on the firm's results, CEO Sacha Romanovitch said:

"At Grant Thornton we fundamentally believe that we have a role to play in shaping a vibrant economy, where people and businesses can thrive. Our key investments made over the course of the year in our people, our places and our processes will go a long way in helping us realise our beliefs over the years to come.

"We have a relentless focus on creating real value for our clients and 81% are highly satisfied and would recommend us to others. This is also demonstrated by the fact that businesses on our two growth programmes grew four times faster than the average SME.

"Ambition 2015 called for an investment in our people and in 2015, the firm took on over 300 trainees, 20% of which would not have been considered prior to the dropping of academic barriers two years ago - a move driven by the firm's commitment to increasing access to the profession and improving social mobility. We've also remained committed to the industry wide social mobility initiative Access Accountancy and already provided high quality tangible work experience to 20 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Manchester, with plans in place to rapidly increase this.

"In addition, we've invested in creating Higher Level Apprenticeships in Innovation, Growth and Business Administration and were delighted to be awarded 'champion' status by the Government for demonstrating leadership and exemplary practice in the field of social mobility.

"Moreover, we've continued investment in our people through cultural change and brand advocacy initiatives, helping to grow our people as well-rounded advisors who are better able to adapt to our clients' and market needs.

"The firm also revamped its approach to real estate and information systems, creating new ways of working. A great example of which is our impressive St Albans office space which has become the go-to location for making connections and collaborating in the local business community.

"Over the course of the year, we've also invested significantly in capabilities and infrastructure to set us up for the next stage of growth, in both the UK and globally. For instance, a focus on our audit tools and methodology saw us build on the firm's track record of collaborating globally to deliver an audit system that is used across all 130 Grant Thornton member firms.

"Whilst we expect these investments in our people, places and processes to greatly strengthen our competitiveness over the years to come, 2015 also saw the successful conclusions of some significant and high profile contracts. Typically, as such large projects come to completion, there is a period of regrouping as new projects are brought on board. This is reflected in an overall slowing of our Restructuring and Financial Services Business Consulting activities as such large pieces of work are replaced."

Grant Thornton's audit and tax service lines both saw an increase of 5% to £142m and 5.5% to £96.3m, respectively - a positive achievement given the challenges within these markets. Its Advisory business experienced strong growth in Corporate Finance (+40%), reflecting the improving economic conditions in the UK and continued growth in Forensic Services and Other Advisory Services. Due to the strengthening of the economy, the number of cases of corporate failures has declined and as a result, the firm's Recovery and Reorganisation business experienced a reduction in revenue.  Excluding Recovery, Grant Thornton's overall Advisory business has grown by 13% in the year.

Additional areas of growth and opportunity for the firm include its Complex Insolvency and International Investigations and Business Risk Services, which have all had strong years, collaborating globally to solve complex problems and monitor appropriate governance to safeguard sustainable business. Grant Thornton also remains strong within the Public Sector, growing and delivering value for clients at a time when the sector faces some of its toughest challenges.

Romanovitch conclude:d

"In 2012 we set out bold goals for our Ambition 2015 and 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.

"We have built a balanced and sustainable business where we work with dynamic organisations on their growth journey and support the economy through our work with regulators both in the UK and globally; helping build trust and integrity in the markets, as well as working alongside public services to help create a business and social environment that makes it easy to do business here. This balance is reflected in our stable turnover and profit over the course of a period of significant investment and a time when big-ticket, non-repeat projects have concluded."

"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."