Upbeat North East benefit to business advisory firm Deloitte

Paul Feechan, office senior partner, said the region’s fortunes have "turned a corner" and that companies will continue to make inward investments

Paul Feechan, Deloitte office senior partner
Paul Feechan, Deloitte office senior partner

An upbeat year for the North East economy has driven success at Deloitte’s regional office, which has reported a 6% rise in revenues.

The business advisory firm’s North East and Yorkshire practice posted sales of £90m for the year ended May 31, up from £85m in the previous 12 months, with all business divisions reporting growth.

Representing more than 200 clients covering all business sizes and sectors, the Newcastle Quayside-based firm said it has been able to build upon the encouraging signs of recovery permeating through all sectors of industry, which began in the first half of the last financial year and continued into the second half, despite Eurozone troubles at the end of 2012 threatening to knock confidence.

Paul Feechan, office senior partner, said the region’s fortunes have “turned a corner” and that companies will continue to make inward investments.

“Last year, there was a period of three or four months when we thought people were getting their confidence back, but then something happened in the Eurozone that has shaken that confidence. There was a bit of malaise, they wanted to get 2012 out of the way and said they hoped 2013 would be better.

“Now, eight months in and it has been a lot better – there has not really been anything that has given confidence a shake.

“Businesses would say that they are doing better this year than last.

“While the economic environment over the past year has continued to present many challenges, I believe we have reached a turning point. Confidence is increasing and clients are showing a greater willingness to invest.

“This is evidenced by a higher demand for our services which are focused on supporting growth.

“Our strategy of investing to grow our practice is reflected in the progress we have made in key sectors for our region such as financial services, manufacturing, consumer business and the public sector.

Feechan said the public sector audit and advisory business had been particularly busy in the health sector, delivering projects on board development, with the local team playing a key role in the firm’s national success in being appointed internal auditors to NHS England.

The consulting practice posted the strongest growth, reflecting an increased focus on investment for the future in both the public and the private sector in new systems, and evidence of a recovery in the M&A market is also coming through, with teams involved in a range of transactions.

He said that while the audit market remains challenging and competitive, the company’s audit practice delivered strong growth in both audit and advisory services.

Within corporate finance the firm is beginning to see the “new order” which reflects a more stable banking environment, although from a restructuring perspective, he said retail, leisure and parts of the healthcare sector continue to be fragile.

Feechan added that headcount at Deloitte has increased throughout the recession and last year was no exception, with the firm hiring 70 graduates, summer placement students and school leavers and 27 experienced hires. One partner and five directors were also promoted.

We'd like to apologise to Deloitte for using the incorrect picture of their Newcastle premises in an article earlier this week.

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