Profit payouts on the rise as Deloitte revenues leap

Deloitte today hailed a strong contribution from its Scottish practice as the Big Four accountancy and advisory firm unveiled a double-digit hike in revenues.

Steve Williams, Deloitte's senior partner for Scotland and Northern Ireland. Picture: Chris Watt

The firm described 2015/16 as a “landmark” year north of the Border, after posting a 13.6 per cent rise in fee income and other turnover to £3.04 billion across its UK group – marking the fastest year-on-year growth in a decade.

Profit distributable to partners for the year totalled £608 million, compared to £593m in the previous 12-month period. The average profit earned by each equity partner, based on the firm’s distributable profit, was £837,000, up from £822,000.

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Deloitte said it had continued its investment across Scotland with plans to create a “digital studio” in Edinburgh – part of a network of 26 such facilities spread around the globe – and the launch of its new Glasgow base at 110 Queen Street.

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Steve Williams, senior partner for Scotland and Northern Ireland, said the firm’s growth had come predominantly through its core financial services, oil and gas, public sector and entrepreneurial business markets.

He said: “The last 12 months have been particularly strong for the firm. We’ve achieved substantial growth, despite challenging conditions in the economy. A number of industries, principally financial services, oil and gas and the public sector, are undergoing fundamental changes in the way they do business.

“Through our investment in Scotland, and the launch of our digital studio, we aim to be at the forefront of these evolving sectors. Our private markets practice has also been very active, working with some of Scotland’s top entrepreneurs and growth companies throughout their life cycles.”

He added: “Despite tailwinds from Brexit and the sustained low oil price, we are confident about Scotland’s future and remain committed to the businesses we work with, and the places we work in, across the country.”

In the past year, the firm invested in more than 30 “disruptive” start-ups – 20 of which were developed by Deloitte’s own people. This included the launch of Propel by Deloitte – a cloud-based accounting and analytics service to help SMEs and start-ups expand.

David Sproul, senior partner and chief executive of Deloitte, said: “This year we have seen double-digit growth across all business areas. We have had significant success in the audit market, with four wins in the FTSE 100, taking our market share to 23 per cent.

“It has also been a strong year for our advisory businesses, given high levels of demand for our M&A, risk management and regulatory, international tax and compliance services and business transformation capabilities using technologies such as digital, cloud and analytics.”

Deloitte employs 16,006 people in the UK and Switzerland – up from 14,461 a year earlier. It has 726 equity partners.