Deloitte’s UK revenues grow at fastest rate in 10 years

Figures driven by improved sentiment from corporate clients over past 18 months

By Harriet Agnew/ Financial Times

Professional services firm Deloitte has reported the fastest UK revenue growth in 10 years, driven by an improvement in sentiment over the past 18 months by its corporate clients.

David Sproul, senior partner and chief executive of Deloitte, said: “Last year we saw business sentiment starting to change — being more resilient, less cautious and more confident about the global economy. Our latest results reflect that.”

UK revenue increased by 13.6 per cent to £3.05bn in the 12 months to May 31, Deloitte said on Tuesday. Distributable profit increased by 2.5 per cent to £608m and the average distributable profit per equity partner was up by 1.8 per cent to £837,000. It is Deloitte’s sixth consecutive year of revenue growth and the fastest rate in 10 years.

Although Mr Sproul said it was too early to tell what the impact of Brexit would be on Deloitte’s business, he added: “Were it not for the Brexit debate, we’d expect it to be the first in a number of double-digit growth years. Brexit will dampen that.”

Deloitte is yet to see significant revenue streams from advising clients on their response to Brexit and Mr Sproul said there was “very little precipitative action in either looking at new markets or changing business models”. The exception was financial services, where firms were evaluating their licences in places such as Luxembourg and Dublin.

Banks and other institutions use the UK as a way to passport their goods and services into the single market and so some of them are dusting off contingency plans and looking at moving parts of their operations onshore. All of Deloitte’s five business areas experienced double-digit growth — 10 per cent in consulting, 11 per cent in tax, 11 per cent in financial advisory and 16 per cent in audit and risk advisory, its largest business area. Deloitte’s Swiss operations grew by 26 per cent to £335m.

In the past year, Deloitte has invested in more than 30 disruptive start-ups, 20 of which were developed by Deloitte’s own staff through its £25m Innovation Investments scheme, which encourages employees to turn start-up ideas into business.

One example of this is the launch of Propel by Deloitte, a cloud-based accounting and analytics service to help fast-expanding small- and medium-sized businesses, SMEs, and start-ups grow.

Mr Sproul said: “We’ve invested in developing our capability across emerging business disrupters, such as blockchain, crowdsourcing and robotics, working to ensure we can help our clients position their businesses for future growth.”

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