Lehman fee gives boost to PwC revenue

THE worldwide accountancy&nbsp; giant PricewaterhouseCoopers saw its revenues creep up by less than half a per cent over the past year, thanks to a strong performance from its advisory business in turbulent economic conditions.<br /><br />Its results were boosted by &pound;100m in revenues from the administration of Lehman Brothers&rsquo; European arm, after the bank failed last September. Four PwC partners are preparing claims against the US parent.<br /><br />The firm today announces net turnover of &pound;2.25bn for the year to end of June, up from &pound;2.24bn last year, with revenue for the advisory arm growing five per cent to &pound;737m.<br /><br />But revenue in both the assurance and tax divisions fell, by half a per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively.<br /><br />Average profit per partner fell three per cent to &pound;777,000, as the firm continued to invest despite the downturn, securing a number of strategic investments in the Middle East and making acquisitions.<br /><br />&ldquo;Our strategy is to bring the scale and reach of our firm to the benefit of our clients by delivering excellent service,&rdquo; said the firm&rsquo;s UK chairman Ian Powell. &ldquo;This combined with tight management of our cost base has allowed us to continue to invest for the upturn.&rdquo;<br /><br />PwC and the rest of the &ldquo;Big Four&rdquo;, its closest competitors Deloitte, KPMG and Ernst and Young, have been steadily losing market share over the course of the crisis as smaller firms switch their audit contracts to their cheaper rivals.<br /><br />But PwC said it continued to place a great importance on smaller clients.<br /><br />&ldquo;The largest multi-national companies remain a key market sector but we are also making real progress with mid-tier companies, non-governmental organisations and the public sector,&rdquo; added Powell.