Advisory and auditing lift Ernst & Young

Elizabeth Fournier
BIG FOUR accountancy firm Ernst & Young will buck the global market downturn this morning as it announces that revenues in its UK business have risen eight per cent since last year, driven by strong performances in its assurance and advisory business.

Turnover at the firm hit £1.465bn in the 12 months to 30 June 2011, up from £1.356bn the previous year. Global revenues also increased by eight per cent to $22.9bn (£14.8bn) as the firm’s headcount swelled to 152,000 – up 11,000 in the past year.

“Critical to this growth has been the collaboration ... as we help our client expand internationally, especially those seeking to export into high growth markets in the Middle East, India, Russia, China and Brazil,” said UK managing partner Steve Varley.

The world’s third largest accounting and consultancy firm said its assurance business had grown by 10 per cent to £444m, while its advisory business was up 20 per cent to £370m.

That was despite a two per cent fall in revenue from transaction advisory, which the firm said reflected “a difficult transaction market”.

Ernst & Young’s tax practice rose by a more modest three per cent to £372m.

Average profit per partner increased by five per cent, rising from £629,000 last year to £663,000.

•Also yesterday, fellow accountancy giant PwC said strong gains in its consulting business helped increase revenues by 10 per cent in the past year, returning it to its position as the world’s biggest professional services firm.

PwC’s global network of firms reported record revenue of $29.2bn (£18.7bn) for the year that ended 30 June, up from $26.6bn in 2010 and the strongest growth since 2008.

The firm’s UK operations posted a six per cent rise in revenue last month.