EY fee income tops £2 billion as economy improves

Assurance grew by 6.4 per cent to �585m with audit wins including the London Stock Exchange. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
Assurance grew by 6.4 per cent to �585m with audit wins including the London Stock Exchange. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
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EY, the biggest professional services firm by staff numbers in Scotland, saw fee income top £2 billion last year although investment in the business dented profits per partner.

Growth north of the Border helped the wider UK practice deliver an 8 per cent increase in fees to £2.01bn for the year ending 3 July, up from £1.87bn in the previous year and contributing to overall global growth which was the fastest seen since 2008.

Distributable profits increased by 6 per cent from £412m to £437m although a record number of new partners and recruitment of over 4,500 people saw average profit per partner dip by 3.7 per cent to £700,000, down from £727,000 in 2014.

Mark Harvey, leader of the practice in Scotland, said the growth meant it was on course to realise an ambition to double revenue growth by 2020 to create a £200m Scottish business.

EY in Scotland now employs 990 people, across offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness, and saw 270 new joiners during the year.

This year so far a record number of 13 new partners have been appointed in Scotland.

“It has been yet another year of significant growth for EY in Scotland and I am feeling very positive about the health of the Scottish economy,” said Harvey.

“Improved market conditions have provided us with a great platform to further accelerate our investment in the business. We are seeing an increased demand from our clients for our services to help them drive growth and trade in both the UK and internationally.”

Across the UK, EY grew all of its four service lines.

Assurance grew by 6.4 per cent to £585m with audit wins including BBC, Co-operative Bank, London Stock Exchange, Sainsbury’s and Sage and said it expects growth to continue thanks to recent gains including RBS and Royal Dutch Shell.

The advisory business grew by 4.5 per cent to £584m with good growth from infrastructure, local public services, telecommunications, media, technology and life sciences.

Transaction advisory services grew by 12.1 per cent to £324m and tax work grew by 10 per cent.

Financial services, EY’s largest industry sector, delivered its seventh consecutive year of growth. The insurance and wealth and asset management teams also contributed strong revenue growth.

Steve Varley, EY’s UK chairman, said: “I am very proud of the jobs that we have created this year, especially as we continue to provide more opportunities for school leavers as well as experienced hires and new graduates. We have built great momentum in the market and believe that by maintaining this momentum we will continue to retain and attract the best talent to serve our clients.”

Globally, the organisation reported annual revenues of $28.7bn (£18.9bn) during the year, an 11.6 per cent increase.