KPMG turnover falls 1.6pc as M&A weakness cuts tax take

SERVICES giant KPMG saw UK revenues slip 1.6 per cent for the year to September as a decrease in corporate activity took its toll.

The firm blamed fewer mergers and acquisitions for the marginal fall in turnover to £1.6bn. Operating profit was down 1.3 per cent to £382m in a tough year that began with the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

KPMG’s tax division suffered most heavily, with fee income falling 12 per cent to £375m as the slump in M&A fed through. The firm’s audit practice was relatively prosperous, however, growing 4.7 per cent to £486m despite losing a lucrative client in the form of HBOS. Its restructuring practice also enjoyed stellar growth of 44.5 per cent on the back of high profile crisis jobs for the likes of JJB Sports and the Dunfermline.

Revenues from advisory work remained steady at £765m. Joint European chairman John Griffith-Jones said KPMG would build out its risk management and performance technology divisions, beefing up sector expertise by recruiting up to 20 new partners for each practice.

Griffith-Jones said: “Overall we feel we have worked awfully hard to stand still [this year], but that’s OK.”