Grant Thornton achieved a record combined global revenue of $5.45bn for FY ended 30 September 2018, driven by growth of 9.4% across its network, its highest rate of growth in six years.

Mergers in Japan and South Africa, combined with strong organic growth across Asia Pacific and Africa of 18.7% and 54.7%, respectively, was a particular driver for the network’s results.

The largest merger took place in Japan with the addition of Yusei Audit Co. and Yamada & Partners Certified Public Tax Accountants’ Co. The merger added 900 staff to the network and developed its tax and audit service lines across the region.

In addition to the merger in Japan, Asia Pacific revenue was aided by strong organic growth in Indonesia (31.9%), Malaysia (27.2%), Singapore (16.3%), and Thailand (12.6%). Across this region, 42% of member firms grew revenues by over 10%.

In Africa, seven member firms grew their revenue by over 20% and the network also completed a large merger in South Africa with the addition of SizweNtsalubaGobodo, which is the largest black-owned firm in the country.

In total, mergers and acquisitions across the globe accounted for over 20% of the network’s growth in 2018.

Europe had above average growth of 7.7%, with over half of European member firms growing revenues by over 10% and with Ireland, Greece, and Spain performing particularly well with growth of 24.4%, 23.1%, and 21.3% respectively.

Individual service lines broke down as follows: Assurance services made up approximately 39% of total revenues ($2.1bn, +4.3%); Advisory services 35% ($1.92bn +10.4%); Tax services accounted for 22% ($1.19bn +14.8%). Other services accounted for 3% at $145m.

Grant Thornton grew its staff by 6.3% to 52,686 across 131 countries.

Commenting on the results, Grant Thornton International CEO Peter Bodin said: “Despite growing uncertainty in many markets this year from political upheaval and rising trade tensions, trading conditions have remained robust for clients around the world. Many have taken advantage of these favourable conditions to invest for the long-term and prepare for the uncertain conditions that may lay ahead.

“This is why we’ve been investing too. Investing in our network, in our technology, and in the development of our people and future leaders to ensure we are where clients need us to be and that we’re ready to deliver quality advice and support in a rapidly changing market.”