Merger growth drives Grant Thornton International to record £4.3bn revenues

Louis Ashworth
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Grant Thornton International is headquartered at 20 Fenchurch Street, the so-called Walkie Talkie (Source: Getty)

Grant Thornton International reported record revenues of $5.45bn (£4.28bn), lifted by income expansion from international mergers, and strong growth in its tax and advisory arms.

The figure is up $450m on last year, representing an average growth of 9.4 per cent across the whole organisation – slightly behind the 10.7 per cent global growth at BDO, one of its chief mid-market rivals.

Peter Bodin, chief executive of the professional services firm’s international network, headquartered in the UK, said: “Our success this year is the result of a deliberate strategic focus on our core mid-market client base, and our key strategic growth markets where we want to be successful.

“Being clear on where we need to develop our capabilities, and focusing on quality in those core markets, has underpinned this performance.”

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Strong mergers and acquisitions activity underpinned much of Grant Thornton International’s growth, with the firm making 24 deals with 10 other companies. Mergers in Japan and South Africa drove revenue increases of 18.7 per cent and 54.7 per cent in Asia and Africa respectively. Average growth in Europe stood at 7.7 per cent.

The US remained its biggest market, generating $2.5bn in fee income, followed by $1.5bn in Europe.

“It’s great to see our firms from markets across the globe flourishing as we continue to build a sustainable next-generation professional services organisation,” said Bodin.

Across its service lines, tax grew by 14.8 per cent, and advisory by 10.4 per cent.

Full results for Grant Thornton’s UK operations have not yet been released. The firm is currently the UK’s fifth-largest auditor – behind global giants the Big Four – Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC – but is set to lose that title after the impending merger of sixth-place BDO UK with Moore Stephens.

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Grant Thornton UK attracted controversy last year for its role as auditor of scandal-hit cafe Patisserie Valerie, and the ousting of its boss Sacha Romanovitch following criticism from within its partners.