OVER at professional services firm PwC rose by six per cent last year, as increased demand from its financial services clients offset a fall in revenues from the public sector.
The accountancy giant will announce this morning that revenues from its UK, Middle East and Channel Islands operations hit £2.46bn in the year to 1 July, up six per cent on 2010 and marking a strong return to growth after last year’s modest 1.5 per cent rise.
Chairman Ian Powell said the firm had held its nerve through difficult economic times, and that it was now well-placed to continue to grow.
The firm’s advisory business – which has been leading the administration of Lehman Brothers in the UK since 2008 – turned in a particularly strong performance, with revenues up eight per cent from 2010 to £907m.
Turnover in the tax divison rose by a more modest two per cent to £645m, and audit turnover was up six per cent to £909m, bolstered by mandate wins over the year including FTSE 100-listed insurance group Aviva, as well as TUI Travel and IG Group.
“While we remain cautiously optimistic about the outlook, we have developed a strategy which should let us grow, even in a low growth economy,” said Powell.
A 3,200-strong increase in headcount contributed to higher staff costs last year, with total outgoings rising by six per cent, despite an £8m reduction in the amount spent on redundancy packages.
But average profits per partner were also up, hitting £763,000 compared to £759,000 the previous year.
The boost means that PwC’s 10-stong executive board will share an attributable profit pot of £20.6m, with Powell’s slice worth an estimated £3.7m.
Total profit at the firm rose £656m from £642m in 2010, with profit available for distribution among members flat at £622m.