Deloitte hails UK 'turning point' as its revenues and profits grow

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The Independent Online

Big four accountancy firm Deloitte has posted an increase in both revenues and profits as the UK economy starts to pick up.

The giant accountancy firm hailed a "turning point" in the fortunes of UK Plc as a major reason for its improving performance. Revenues shot up 8 per cent to £2.5bn for the year to the end of May. Profits showed a smaller uptick, rising from £569m to £571m. This will be shared between partners, each earning £772,000.

David Sproul, chief executive and senior partner of Deloitte, said the return to growth of the UK economy was at the root of the brighter revenue and profits picture.

"I believe UK businesses have reached a turning point in terms of confidence and, with substantial cash holdings and improving credit conditions, they've got the firepower to invest for growth," he said. "The appetite for risk is increasing and clients are showing greater willingness to invest. This is evidenced by a higher demand for those services that are focused on helping clients grow."

The firm achieved strong performance across its five business divisions. Consulting grew by 14 per cent to £596m (£524m in 2012), audit by 12 per cent to £742m (£663m), tax 6 per cent to £563m (£529m) and corporate finance by 1 per cent to £405m (£402m). Revenue in Switzerland remained broadly flat in sterling terms (£209m against £211m).

Deloitte recruited more than 3,000 staff in the financial year, reversing the trend in recent years. Of the joiners, 1,700 were graduates or school leavers. Mr Sproul added: "Investing in skills and talent remains a key priority for Deloitte. We also promoted 48 new partners in June and hired 22 direct-entry partners from competitors and industry over the past 12 months, taking the total number of partners in the firm to 1,011. This represents an important investment in the future success of our clients."

However, despite the UK's economic turnaround, major challenges remain for Deloitte and the other big four accountancy firms – PwC, KPMG and EY. At present, they are auditors for 90 per cent of UK stock-market listed companies. This dominance has drawn the eye of the regulator, the Competition Commission, as well as the European Union.