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October 30, 2011

Grant Thornton UK reports 1% drop in revenue

Grant Thornton UK has reported revenues of £377million ($603.9m) for year ended 30 June 2011, down 0.7% from fiscal 2010.

The firm said assurance revenue grew 2.8% to £122.3m; however tax services marked a 1.4% drop to £91.7m.

Overall advisory revenues were £150m, with 17.7% growth in forensic and investigation services and 1.9% growth in recovery and reorganisation.

Grant Thornton UK chief executive Scott Barnes told the International Accounting Bulletin corporate finance revenue dropped £5.7m to £35.2m due to the UK governments reduced expenditure as a result of the spending cuts.

Barnes said the firm has held on to, “a high level of profitability, which we achieved in the previous fiscal years”.

“We have held on to the profits we made in the year to 30 June 2010. In the context of what has been happening in the economy we are proud of what we have achieved. Especially as some assignment from FY10 did not occur in FY11,” he said.

Barnes also said the firm is expecting to see some more public sector work in the next year.

“We have just been appointed to the manufacturing advisory service by the government, which is providing advice to middle market businesses looking to expand,” he said.

The firm’s profits per partner increased to £342,000, which according to Barnes is due to the firm having slightly less partners then in the previous years.

In the past fiscal year Grant Thornton UK made two acquisitions. “We invested £20million in acquisitions, most notably in Smart Consulting from LECG and an IVA book from Blair Endersby; both acquisitions will have a significant positive impact in future years,” the firm said.

Barnes said there are no large acquisitions in the pipeline at the moment, however “I think there will be more and more opportunities for acquisitions of smaller businesses going forward”.

“I think that is because the downturn has lasted a lot longer then anyone has expected and I think there are some businesses out there that are looking to change ownership and are looking at strong firms like ours to take them on,” he said.

Grant Thornton UK has also announced ambitious plans for growth aiming to report £500m in annual revenues for 2015.

Barnes said the firm is expecting a large percentage of that will come from advisory.

“We think we can grow that further in areas like forensics, restructuring and we are also expecting corporate finance to pick up especially as the economy improves,” he said.

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