Strong Yorkshire growth boosts KPMG

Partners at KPMG received bumper payouts in 2018, with an average payout of over £600,000 per partner after profits at the accountancy giant jumped in 2018.

KPMG's North regional chairman, Chris Hearld
KPMG's North regional chairman, Chris Hearld

The average payout per partner rose to £601,000 this year, up from £519,000 in 2017.

KPMG said the bumper payouts, to be shared among 635 partners, represent an increase of around 16 per cent on last year.

It comes as the professional service firm reported a 53 per cent jump in profits, from £301m to £462m, on the back of improved investment returns in technology.

On an underlying basis, profit rose 18 per cent in the year to September 30 to reach £356m on revenue of £2.3bn, up 8 per cent in the fastest acceleration of sales in 10 years.

The figures were fuelled by buoyant activity at KPMG’s deal advisory practice, which grew by 14 per cent, while the firm’s audit posted growth of 8 per cent.

Work related to Brexit and US tax reform also drove demand for advice, helping KPMG’s tax, people services and legal practice grow by 7 per cent.

KPMG announced revenue growth of 7 per cent in its Northern business.

Chris Hearld, North regional chairman, said: “Our Northern business has had another year of impressive growth, increasing revenues by 7 per cent, cementing our market share and advising on key transformational projects in both the private and public sectors.

“This great result is a reflection of two things. First, it is testament to the talent and unwavering commitment of our people. Each and every one of our staff has had a part to play, and I could not be more proud of their efforts over the year. And second, that we continue to operate in a strong and vibrant regional economy where organisations, large and small, regardless of sector, can disrupt, innovate and grow, in turn creating opportunities for us.”

Looking ahead, Mr Hearld said that economic and geopolitical uncertainty is having a creeping impact on confidence, which in turn is starting to bear on investment decisions.

“We remain laser-focused on supporting Yorkshire businesses through this uncertainty, ensuring that they are resilient to the challenges ahead while remaining alive to those opportunities by which they can grow and fulfil their potential,” he said.

The results come at a sensitive time for the sector.

The Competition & Markets Authority, the Financial Reporting Council and Legal & General Group chairman John Kingman are all separately looking into the audit industry at the request of the UK Government.

The industry is under scrutiny following a series of high-profile company collapses - such as construction giant Carillion and former high street stalwart BHS.