Accountancy giant KPMG rakes in £200m from the North

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ACCOUNTANCY GIANT KPMG said its audit, tax and advisory services raked in revenues of £200m in the North of England this year, a rise of 3 per cent on 2013.

The Big Four firm lost long-standing audit client Morrisons to rival PwC during the period, but prised Smith and Nephew from Ernst & Young, ending a 77-year relationship.

KPMG dealmakers advised on 42 transactions with a combined value of £872m, including the flotations of Safestyle and Card Factory, secondary buyout of Adler and Allan and sales of Victoria Plumb, TSC Foods and Mamas and Papas.

The firm poached BDO’s managing partner in Yorkshire Ian Beaumont to grow its mid-market and SME business and launched a new small business accounting service.

KPMG expects to relocate its 750 Yorkshire staff into its new HQ in Leeds by October and its new innovation and solutions centre, based on the Headrow, is up and running.

Chris Hearld, northern chairman, said: “It’s been a good year. We have grown the top line and we have held profits together despite having made unprecedented investment.”

The firm did not break down regional profits, but said that overall UK profits before tax were down 9 per cent following investments in people, new business lines and new offices.

Average partner pay was broadly flat at £715,000.

Mr Hearld said the Yorkshire economy is performing “pretty well” and highlighted the region’s resurgent financial services industry and top two retailers, Asda and Morrisons, which although are trading in tough markets remain large and successful businesses, both as employers and supporters of supply chains.

He said the mergers and acquisitions market remains healthy and has got off to a good start in the new financial year, which began in October.

Mr Hearld said he is excited about the growing technology sector in Leeds. KPMG is a founding partner of the ODI in Leeds, a new initiative backed by web founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee to promote the sharing of digital information held by the public sector. He said“Leeds has a great story to tell on data and technology.”