Ernst & Young UK bullish on further growth

Marion Dakers
THE BRITISH arm of Ernst & Young posted a six per cent rise in revenues today, and boss Steve Varley believes the accountancy group can keep growing without the need for acquisitions.

EY said three out of four of its businesses expanded in the year to the end of June, taking turnover to £1.6bn.

Advisory work was up 17 per cent to £486m, and assurance and tax both rose six per cent to £507m and £455m respectively.

“I think we can say that the UK firm is doing very well with only organic growth,” Varley told City A.M. “We are very focused on organic growth, but we are continuing to scan the market for potential deals.”

He picked out cybercrime and big data services as ripe sources of future growth.

Despite an 11 per cent fall in transaction-related revenues to £273m, the firm said it has been drafted in to advise on a growing number of corporate deals in recent months, as the IPO market starts to attract more floats. “It was a game of two halves last year… but I think we are seeing a sea change in the transactions market,” Varley said.

EY picked up two FTSE 100 audit mandates in the last year. Varley said that more companies are inviting auditors to tender for contracts following new guidelines introduced last year: “I think there are more audit tenders underway at the moment than at any point in the last few years.”

Average distributable profit per partner for 2013 was £651,000, up from £597,000 in 2012.

The global EY network posted a 7.7 per cent rise in revenues to $25.8bn earlier in the week.