Belfast Telegraph

Deloitte records fastest sales growth in decade as it increases Belfast workforce

By John Mulgrew

Business advisory firm Deloitte — which employs more than 400 staff here — has posted a 14% surge in sales, its quickest growth in a decade.

The firm announced a rise in revenue of 13.6%, taking turnover to £3.04bn across its business in the UK.

And its boss in Northern Ireland has said that “despite tailwinds from Brexit” the company is “confident of the strength of Northern Ireland’s proposition as an ideal nearshore hub for international businesses in the UK”.

The company is aiming to increase its workforce in Belfast to 1,000 staff by 2020.

In May it announced it’s creating 300 new jobs in Belfast.

Most of the posts will be in the technology end of the company’s work.

The expansion will make the city the business’s largest UK base outside of London by 2020.

In 2016, the number of partners and directors increased to 12 in Northern Ireland. Overall staff numbers also increased to more than 400.

Around 45 of those were graduates, with a third coming through the Department for the Economy’s Assured Skills Programme.

Jackie Henry, senior partner for Deloitte in Belfast, said the growth this year had come “through its core financial services, public sector and entrepreneurial business markets”.

“The last 12 months have been particularly strong for the firm. We’ve achieved substantial growth, despite challenging conditions in the economy, by helping our clients harness the power of the disruption,” she said.

“It has been a landmark year for Deloitte in Northern Ireland as we moved ahead with significant recruitment plans.

“This announcement demonstrates our commitment to the region. Belfast continues to play a key role in the success of Deloitte, providing a significant portion of our UK business.

“We made this decision based on the huge pool of talent in Belfast and we look forward to delivering high-quality jobs here over the coming years.”

Deloitte grew its UK business across a range of areas, including audit and risk, tax, consulting and financial advisory.

In the past year, Deloitte also invested in more than 30 start-up businesses, with around 20 of those set up by Deloitte staff.

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%.

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

“We have unparalleled breadth and depth of services and I’m proud of the many things we’ve achieved in FY16. Our results are testament to our ongoing commitment to innovation, adapting to new and changing markets and attracting and retaining the best talent.”

Speaking following the announcement of 300 additional jobs for Belfast back in May, Nick Owen, chairman of Deloitte in the UK, said: “That is testament to the success that the team here has enjoyed since announcing significant expansion plans and the breadth of expertise within the business.

“This commitment by Deloitte reflects the confidence we have in Belfast as a great place to do business and a hotbed of talent, particularly for graduates and school leavers.”

The announcement was made by Mr Sproul and chairman Nick Owen following a meeting with First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

Deloitte employs 16,006 people across the UK and Switzerland.

Belfast Telegraph