ACCOUNTANCY giant Deloitte has seen profits dip at its UK operation in spite of revenue increasing for the fourth year in a row.

The firm's annual financial statement, published today, shows the profit for distribution among partners was £554 million in the 12 months to May 31 this year, down from £571m.

That meant the average profit for the 739 partners came in at just short of £750,000, compared to 740 partners and nearly £772,000 in the prior year.

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While that is the average sum, some partners will earn significantly more with others picking up less, depending on how they have performed.

Chief executive David Sproul was the partner with the largest entitlement and his package was worth £2.6m, down from £2.7m.

Revenue across the firm grew 1.4 per cent from £2.52 billion to £2.55bn. The audit practice fell 1.8 per cent from £719m to £706m, while tax was marginally down from £563m to £562m.

Consulting saw growth of 0.5 per cent from £619m to £622m with corporate finance rising 4.7 per cent to £424m and the group's Swiss practice increasing 13 per cent from £209m to £236m.

Mr Sproul signalled the new financial year had got off to a strong start, but the run-up to the UK general election as well as uncertainty over a possible referendum on European Union membership may lead to a slowing of activity as the period progresses.

He said: "Looking ahead, we expect that better economic conditions will result in significant improvements across our markets.

"Growth has increased in the first quarter of the new financial year and we are seeing a renewed confidence and optimism in our clients to make investment decisions. However, whilst we continue to make investments for the future, we do hold a concern that political uncertainty may dampen business activity later in the year."

The firm said it had hired 138 senior staff across its practices in Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as dozens of graduates and scholars. Headcount across the countries was at 771 as of May this year. Deloitte said 55 chief financial officers based in Scotland had been through its next generation training programme across the past four years.

Mr Sproul said: "The global ambition of our clients and our people is creating opportunities for the firm to increase revenue internationally.

"More than 200 of our partners and staff are currently on secondment overseas and we think this will become a bigger feature over the next year or more."

Average staff numbers in the year were recorded as 14,726, up from 14,529, with employee costs rising from £1bn to £1.07bn.