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Consulting business drives PwC revenue growth

Ian Powell

London: A strong performance from its consulting business helped PwC yesterday to report 7% growth in revenue to £2,621 million for the year ended 30 June 2012, up from £2,461m in the previous year.

As part of its long term growth plans the firm recruited 2,300 people over the course of the year, including more than 1,200 graduates and 100 school leavers, who joined professional training programmes.

Ian Powell, PwC chairman and senior partner, said, "We delivered strong performance across all of our businesses over the past year in what remains a very challenging market. We took a decision at the start of the downturn to continue to hold our nerve and invest in our business.

"We have recruited significant numbers of new people, and invested heavily in our infrastructure to make sure we deliver a world class service to our clients. This has included the recruitment of some 2,300 people, including 1,200 graduates and 100 school leavers, the admission of 61 new partners, a net 3% increase, and a number of strategic acquisitions.

"We continue to see high growth potential for our Consulting, Risk Assurance, Forensic and Actuarial businesses, as well as our Middle East firm. We have invested heavily in growing our long-standing private business practice which achieved 7% growth over the past year, and in our regional network of offices. We see significant potential for increasing our market share in the private and fast growing company sector."

The firm's Assurance practice achieved revenue growth of 6% to £963m, helped by audit wins including Aviva, Dubai World, Genel Energy and Yule Catto.

Consulting, which also includes Sustainability and Climate Change services, recorded 13% growth to £438m.

The Deals practice reported 8% growth to £561m, while Tax grew 2% to £659m. Profit was £727m, up from £656m in 2011.

Other highlights from the 2012 financial year include:

  • Total tax contribution to the UK Exchequer, including the contribution of partners, amounted to £975m.
  • Average profit per partner for the year was £798,000 up from £763,000 in 2011 while
  • actual profits distributable to partners after deducting payments to retired partners and equity adjustments was on average £679,000 (£707,000 in 2011).
  • The firm was chosen as The Times Top 100 Graduate Employer of the Year for a record-breaking ninth consecutive year.
  • Voted the sector specific Employer of Choice for Accounting for a 14th consecutive year.
  • PwC led the development of the first higher apprenticeship for professional services, opening 100 places in tax, consulting and assurance.
  • More than 4,900 PwC people took part in community-based activities, volunteering to help local charities and community organisations during working time; time volunteered during the working day totalled more than 54,000 hours (up from 50,000 hours in 2011).
  • Firm started a major refurbishment programme for its London headquarters to bring it up to the highest environmental standards.
  • PwC launched a ground-breaking social enterprise business centre, and a cook school, bar and bistro called Brigade in the old Fire Station adjacent to its More London office which supports the Beyond Food Foundation's apprenticeship programme; 25 homeless people have already been given training and mentoring and most have gone on to secure full time jobs in the hospitality sector.
  • It launched its own Social Entrepreneurs Club with membership currently standing at over 80 businesses across the UK.

Ian Powell, PwC UK chairman and senior partner, said, "While the short term economic environment remains tough I am confident in the UK's longer term prospects. We will continue to invest to ensure we are able to support the economic recovery when it comes and plan to maintain our record recruitment levels in the coming year.

"I am confident we will continue to add great value with our strong commitment to quality and doing the right thing for our people, our clients and our communities."

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