Although rival PwC has yet to announce its global results, it would take a huge hike in revenues for the firm to close the gap now. Last year the difference increased from $900m in 2016 to $1.1bn.
PwC ceded its global top ranking to Deloitte after a sluggish performance in 2016.
Deloitte Global chief executive Punit Renjen, described the 2018 results as “exceptional”. “Over the past year, we have increased strategic investments in the capabilities and services most sought after by clients in the fast-growing markets of the world.
“We have also expanded our efforts and investments to drive audit quality and innovation while achieving strong financial results.”
The show stopper was consulting, which grew by 15.7% on the back of strong performances from technology, strategy & operations and human capital and their integrated focus on digital-enabled business transformation.
Risk advisory revenue rose by 12% thanks to growth in cyber, financial and operation risk. The service arm acquired six businesses in growth areas including corporate social responsibility, cybersecurity, risk sensing and analytics, and regulatory compliance and strategy. It also reported a rise in client work relating to Brexit.
The three other practice areas put in solid performances over the year: tax and legal grew by 8.7%, financial advisory by 8% and audit and assurance by 7.7%. The firm added that over the past five years, it has invested more than $1bn in improving audit quality, including the development of Deloitte Omnia, a cloud-based, next-generation artificial intelligence platform.
Work in the technology, media and telecommunications sector and financial services proved to be particularly lucrative for the firm – both grew revenue by more than 12%. However, consumer and industrial products contributed the most with growth of $1.3bn over the year.
Interestingly, the best performing region for the firm was Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Revenues here rose by 15.9%, compared to Asia Pacific’s 13.3% and the Americas’ 8%.
Over the year, Deloitte increased its workforce by 8.4%. It now employs 286,000 professionals.
The firm also promoted 676 professionals to partner (up 19%), including 174 women.
Last week, EY, the third largest of the Big Four firms, announced global revenues up 11% at $34.8bn. PwC’s global results will be out shortly.