Les Ross of Grant Thornton

Member Article

Fourth year of growth for Grant Thornton

Leading business and financial adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP has recorded its fourth successive year of strong performance, with turnover up 13% to £471m for the financial year ended 30 June 2013.

The firm’s North West headcount stands at 450 people across Manchester and Liverpool.

The growth comes on the back of double digit performance in the previous year and puts Grant Thornton well in reach of achieving its 2015 revenue target of £500m one year early.

This growth – predominantly organic - was driven in large part by continued strengthening of the Advisory practice, which grew by 21.2%. The firm also saw its Audit practice improve by 9.2% whilst turnover from its Tax offering remained broadly flat year on year.

Distributable profits rose 6% over the period, albeit the average profit per partner rose by 4.2% due to the continued investment in new partners in growing parts of the business. The firm’s total contribution to the Exchequer in respect of all taxes was £161.8m, with an average rate of tax paid per partner on this year’s profits estimated at 42.5%.

Les Ross, North West managing partner, commented: “Our Manchester and Liverpool offices continue to make a substantial contribution to the firm’s UK growth. A number of our practice areas have performed well in a tough but improving market. The rise in advisory activity, with clients getting back into M&A activity has been particularly marked for our corporate finance and transaction advisory services teams.

“The demand for perceptive and effective tax planning remains as strong as ever – the market has long since moved away from exotic schemes. There’s a real focus on best practice advice. Our audit team also grew with the addition of staff transferring across from the Audit Commission following the firm’s success in winning a number of audit contracts for North West public bodies.”

In May the transaction advisory services team acted as reporting accountant for Manchester-based Outsourcery plc, a ­leading UK provider of cloud-based IT and communications solutions, in relation to its admission to AIM.

Other North West projects included Grant Thornton’s corporate finance team advising Sceptre Leisure, which provides coin-operated machines to pubs, on the refinancing £15million of debt and securing a further £5m for growth in a package with Chenavari, a European debt fund. The team also acted for shareholders on the disposal of Gelert, a leading outdoor brand, on its sale to Sports Direct.

Scott Barnes, CEO, Grant Thornton UK LLP commented: “These strong results reflect the hard work and collaboration of all our people who are focused on delivering our strategy and achieving our Ambition 2015 plans.

“During the past five years, we’ve pursued a very deliberate strategy of investing in those parts of our business where we could take market leading positions – such as in the public sector audit and financial services space – along with reinforcing our strengths in our core mid-market segment.

“The investment we’ve made in our brand, and ensuring our people understand what it means and how they deliver its values, is now truly paying dividends. We’ve seen a step change in the way the market responds to us and importantly, how we react to opportunities – taking a more cohesive, joined-up approach utilising our in-depth sector and service line expertise.

“There are of course continued challenges in the marketplace, and our business model is clearly delivering. As economic confidence grows, our position as a stand out brand within the marketplace means we look positively towards to the long-term future.”

Grant Thornton UK LLP is a leading business and financial adviser with offices in 28 locations nationwide. The firm is a member of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the world’s leading organisations of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms with over 31,000 people, across 100 countries

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Simon Malia .

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