IT investment impacts profits for Grant Thornton

REVENUES have increased 2.5% this year at accountancy and business advisory firm Grant Thornton – but heavy investment in IT has led to lower profits.

Revenues increased to £534m, up from £521m for the year to June 30, 2016. It also separated and sold the majority of its Individual Voluntary Arrangement division during the year, retaining a 40% stake.

The mid-tier firm revealed it had invested heavily in technology and IT infrastructure, which led to pre-tax profits declining to £72m from £82m the year before.

Average distributable profit per partner reached £344,000, also down 13.8% from a high of £398,000 last year.

The investment in technology is part of its Vision 2020 plans which aim to create value for clients and deliver sustainable profitability.

There was a mixed performance in Grant Thornton’s divisions, with its operational advisory business delivering 21% revenue growth to £17m. A mere 2% growth in its transactional advisory business was skewed due to the decline in  restructuring work.

Grant Thornton chief executive Sacha Romanovitch said: “Following my appointment we set a bold strategic agenda anchored in our purpose of helping to shape a vibrant economy, grounded in the belief that business thrives when they fully contribute to the system on which their sustainable growth depends.

“The energy and passion of our people, the support from our clients, challenge and insight from our wider stakeholders have all played a vital part in this first year of delivering on our agenda.

“Over that past year, we have made significant strides in playing our part in shaping a vibrant economy. We continue to ensure that quality, excellence and ethics are at the heart of what we do and delivered against the goals we set out for ourselves last year; making substantive progress across each area of our strategy.”

Grant Thornton has 28 UK offices in locations including Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Leicester, Sheffield, Northampton, Leeds and Newcastle.