Bot­tom line hold­ing up

Cen­tral belt work helps num­bers tally at John­ston Carmichael

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - BUSINESS - BY STAN ARNAUD

Ex­pan­sion in Scot­land’s cen­tral belt has helped char­tered ac­coun­tants John­ston Carmichael weather “chal­leng­ing” trad­ing con­di­tions in the north­east and achieve record rev­enues of £43.7mil­lion.

An­nounc­ing the Aberdeen-head­quar­tered firm’s an­nual re­sults for the year to the end of May, chief ex­ec­u­tive Sandy Man­son said he sensed more

“It con­tin­ues to be a dif­fi­cult time in the mar­ket in our heart­lands”

con­fi­dence re­turn­ing to its tra­di­tional heart­land.

The com­pany’s fig­ures showed a 7% growth in turnover from £40.8mil­lion in its pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year. Net profit be­fore mem­bers’ re­mu­ner­a­tion rose by 5% from £11.6mil­lion to £12.2mil­lion over the same pe­riod.

Mr Man­son said: “It’s ex­tremely en­cour­ag­ing to re­port that the firm con­tin­ues to grow and de­velop de­spite some chal­leng­ing trad­ing con­di­tions in­clud­ing the un­cer­tainty sur­round­ing Brexit and lower oil prices which con­tinue to af­fect the north-east.

“Our ex­pan­sion in the cen­tral belt has bol­stered and pro­tected the business from re­gional vari­a­tions and re­ally helped us to main­tain a healthy level of growth.

“Over the past six months, we’ve leased ex­tra of­fice space in both our Glas­gow and Ed­in­burgh of­fices as we con­tinue to grow our ser­vices and in­vest in tal­ented ad­vis­ers to meet ever-grow­ing client needs.”

Founded in 1936 in Mo­ray, John­ston Carmichael has grown to be­come the largest in­de­pen­dent firm of char­tered ac­coun­tants and business ad­vis­ers in Scot­land. The firm em­ploys around 700 staff and part­ners at 11 lo­ca­tions in­clud­ing In­verurie, Fraser­burgh, In­ver­ness and El­gin.

Mr Man­son added: “It con­tin­ues to be a dif­fi­cult time in the mar­ket in our tra­di­tional heart­lands in the north-east. But I do sense there is more con­fi­dence ap­pear­ing with a firmer oil price and in­creas­ing use of new tech­nol­ogy.”

He hailed the con­tri­bu­tion be­ing made by the Aberdeen-based Oil and Gas In­no­va­tion Cen­tre and also pre­dicted a pos­i­tive im­pact on the area’s econ­omy from the com­ple­tion of the city’s West­ern Pe­riph­eral Route.

John­ston Carmichael has grown its in­ter­na­tional work through its mem­ber­ship of PKF, a group of legally in­de­pen­dent mem­ber firms op­er­at­ing in 150 coun­tries.

Ma­jor ap­point­ments across the 2016-17 year in­cluded ad­di­tions to its cor­po­rate fi­nance and re­struc­tur­ing teams as well as a num­ber of tax spe­cial­ist po­si­tions, in­clud­ing a new head of en­tre­pre­neur­ial tax.

The business has also in­vested sub­stan­tially in tech­nolo­gies to de­liver its ser­vices, in­clud­ing the use of data an­a­lyt­ics in au­dit work and cloud tech­nol­ogy in its SME-fo­cused of­fer­ing.

Mr Man­son said the com­pany would keep in­vest­ing and in­no­vat­ing in all areas of its business in the year ahead to en­sure it con­tin­ues to “play a lead­ing role in the sec­tor and con­tribute to Scot­land’s econ­omy and com­mu­ni­ties.”

EN­COUR­AGED: Chief ex­ec­u­tive Sandy Man­son senses new con­fi­dence in the north-east with a firmer oil price and in­creas­ing tech­nol­ogy use

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