PwC has today reported that its total group profit for the financial year rose by 25 per cent to £1.2bn, as the firm saw renewed private sector demand drive growth for audit, deals and transformation services.
The big four accountant also saw its gross revenue increase slightly by two per cent to £4.4bn for the year ended 30 June 2021 which it said was partly the result of “a significant uptick in growth” in the second half of the year as client activity rebounded.
Another main reason, PwC said, was the fall in business travel expenses by its staff, who have mostly been working from home during the pandemic, which resulted in an increase in its underlying net revenue of 5 per cent.
Alongside the deals-led recovery, PwC saw its audit services grow seven per cent. In the second half of the year, the accounting giant saw greater demand for transformation advice, particularly digital and data strategies as many businesses moved to the cloud. There have also been more companies seeking help for decarbonisation plans and designing hybrid working strategies.
Average profit per partner was £868,000 – a record high – compared with a pre-covid profit per partner share of £765,000 in 2019.
The bonus pot for UK staff soared to a record high of £128m too. It was £83m last year and £113m pre-covid.
“The year really has been a story of two parts,” said PwC chairman and senior partner, Kevin Ellis. “Last summer, like many businesses, we faced significant economic disruption and huge uncertainty about how the pandemic would play out.”
“After a challenging first six months where we held our nerve, made no redundancies and honoured job offers,” he continued, “we were well-placed to meet demand and create investment capacity as confidence in the market picked up.”
Commenting on the easing of restrictions Ellis said: “Like our clients, we see the pandemic recovery as a catalyst of profound change, driving increased demand for our deals, financing, digitisation, ESG and supply chain transformation services.”
Auditors in the UK have come under scrutiny of the government after a series of high-profile scandals, and the subsequent collapses of companies like Thomas Cook, Carillion and BHS.
PwC acknowledged that the sector has been “undergoing change” but said it was encouraged by the recent audit quality results published by the Financial Reporting Council.
PwC UK’s Annual Review for the year ended 30 June 2021 will be released on 15 September 2021.