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News release

Annual Report 2020: confidence and momentum for the future

Grant Thornton UK LLP has today (07 April 2021) published its 2020 Annual Report [ 3082 kb ] showing the firm’s strong performance throughout the year, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Grant Thornton announces 2020 financial results, showing strong momentum throughout the year to December 31st 2020, despite challenges of the pandemic
  • Slight reduction in like-for-like revenue and increase in trading profits in 2020, testament to performance of its people and operational changes undertaken in preceding years
  • Firm’s focus on its people, clients, operations and communities during the pandemic has enabled it to continue providing a high-quality client offering whilst investing in its future

Whilst the firm’s net income dropped slightly (-2.5%) during the 12 months to 31 December 2020 to £471 million (£483 million in the 12 months prior) on a like-for-like basis, the firm was able to improve its profitability by 14%, owing to the strategy it introduced in 2019 which placed quality, talent and value at the heart of its operations. This has resulted in a more focused firm as it navigated the challenges of COVID-19, with a clear strategy and solid foundations for the years ahead.

On a like-for-like basis (excluding exceptional or non-recurring matters, such as the 2019 sales of its wealth advisory business and other items), the firm’s financial highlights are as follows:

Calendar Year (£m) 2018 2019 2020
Net income 471 483 471
Underlying Trading profit 57 63 72
Year on Year growth (%)   11% 14%

At the outset of the global pandemic, Grant Thornton focused on supporting its people, its clients, its operations and the communities in which it operates. This resulted in the firm making adjustments to its earlier forecasts and some of its operations; along with decisions taken to not make use of the Government’s Furlough scheme and asking some of its people to temporarily reduce their contractual hours and pay over the early summer months.

However, the firm’s strong performance has enabled it to honour its commitment to repay those individuals in full for any missed salary at the end of 2020. Continuing its commitment to its people in 2021, the firm has recently given all its 4,500 people two ‘wellbeing days’ (over and above their normal holiday entitlement), invested in a wellbeing programme (aimed at connecting colleagues and supporting them with their mental, physical and financial health) and awarded all employees a minimum of £750 in bonuses for their 2020 contributions, along with other benefits introduced to ease pressure on staff during the pandemic.

Dave Dunckley, CEO of Grant Thornton UK LLP, commented: “Our principal focus in 2020 has been to support our people by providing a safe environment for them to serve our clients and support one another, friends and families. This has enabled us to deliver the highest possible level of client service across the firm, which in turn has delivered a solid set of results for our business, the benefits of which we have shared with our people.

“We started 2020 with strong foundations and despite the pandemic we entered 2021 in an even stronger position. We are confident that the momentum we’ve generated over recent years will continue to take us from strength to strength in the future.”

The firm’s performance over recent years has enabled it to continue to invest in its people and operations to ensure a high-quality client offering. In 2020, the firm welcomed 13 new members to the partnership and over 300 graduates and school leavers. Throughout the year, the firm progressed in its commitment to diversity and inclusion, with the majority of its trainees (53%) coming from non-selective state school backgrounds, nearly a third (31%) being from a minority ethnic background and almost half (48%) identifying as female. Grant Thornton was ranked second overall in the annual Social Mobility Employers Index 2020, a leading authority on employer best practice. The firm has consistently featured within the top 10 in this index since its inaugural report in 2017, where Grant Thornton ranked first.

Its resilient financial performance in 2020 was also reinforced by strong feedback from the market, which expressed increasing appetite to work with Grant Thornton, ranking it second amongst its peers for client satisfaction and characterising the firm as a ‘resurgent challenger’ in the market*.

Dave Dunckley continued: “Whilst 2020 was a year no one will soon forget, we recognised that we also needed to keep an eye on the future and continued to invest in our talent pipeline. We know that having teams comprised of diverse backgrounds leads to better client outcomes, and this is something we’re firmly committed to. The launch of our Inclusion Advisory Board last year was an important step in ensuring the decisions we take as a leadership team are informed by the range of views and backgrounds of our people.”

*Meridian West Business Buyers Barometer