Hong Kong: KPMG International (KPMG) has announced record-high combined revenues of US$23.03 billion for the fiscal year ending 30 September 2012, representing a 4.4% increase over the previous year in local currency terms.
When adjusted to US dollars, revenues increased by 1.4%, reflecting the relative strength of the US dollar.
KPMG's Management Consulting practice, part of the Advisory business, achieved growth of 15% for the year and has grown to a business with revenues of $2.2 billion in just seven years.
KPMG says that at a time of ongoing global economic challenges, the growth reflects its continued strategic focus on investments in emerging markets and key service areas, as well as aggressive recruitment of top talent. In the latest Universum rankings, business students from leading universities around the world voted KPMG as one of the most attractive employers for the third consecutive year, ranking second overall and highest among the Big 4 firms.
Michael Andrew, Chairman of KPMG International, commented, "2012 was a year of two distinct halves; with growth strongest at 6.4% in the first six months of the year and relatively weaker growth of 2.1% in the six months to September. Growing our business against such a challenging economic backdrop is testament to the quality of our people and the strength of their relationships with clients."
Advisory drives growth
KPMG recorded increased revenues across all functions with particularly strong growth generated in Financial Services, Industrial Markets and Infrastructure, Government and Healthcare. Advisory revenues grew by 8.3%, to $7.86 billion; Tax revenues grew by 6.3%, to $4.86 billion; and Audit revenues grew by 0.9%, to $10.31 billion.
"The growth in Advisory and Tax underlines the strength of client demand for professional services," said Michael Andrew.
"On the Audit side, the market has never been more competitive and we are focused on continuing to improve audit quality, as evidenced by our significant investments in our global audit platform that surpassed $50 million, in addition to the $100 million invested over the past several years. KPMG member firms are also actively engaged with their regulators around the world in constructive dialogue, with the goal of continuing to improve audit quality."
At a regional level, the Americas delivered strong growth for the year, with revenues rising by 7%. The Europe, Middle East and Africa region reported increased revenues of 4% across the region, despite the ongoing economic uncertainty caused by the Eurozone crisis. The Asia Pacific region reported revenue growth of 1.1%, reflecting subdued growth in North Asia.
KPMG's commitment to investment in rapidly growing economies was reflected by exceptional annual growth of 20% or more at KPMG firms in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, India and Turkey. Revenue growth was also strong in Africa and Indonesia, rising by more than 10% in each area over the last fiscal year. The decision to convert its Chinese member firm from a joint venture to a special general partnership was also a bold step and will enable KPMG's Chinese firm to continue to contribute to the development of the Chinese accounting profession.
"I am proud that our Chinese member firm has grown from 30 employees only 20 years ago to 9,000 partners and staff today, with significant potential for future growth," said Andrew.
"Opening a new KPMG office in Myanmar last month was a sign of our commitment to helping to rebuild that country's economy, and to playing a leading role in the economic development of the region."
KPMG also established member firms in Iraq and Mongolia during the course of the year and now operates in 156 countries. The decision to locate KPMG's chairman in Asia is a further indication of the commitment to the important role of this region in the global economy.
In addition to investing in its global audit platform and emerging markets, KPMG also focused on bolstering advisory and tax services. Andrew noted that KPMG "will continue to make acquisitions that will help build market-leading positions and capabilities in key areas that are important to clients, as we have done in shared services and outsourcing advisory and indirect tax compliance services, as well as in procurement and supply chain management, through our recent acquisition of BrainNet.
"We are making these investments to help provide the highest quality, most innovative services to clients."
He added, "I'm confident the investments we are making will create growth and career advancement opportunities for our professionals."
Recruiting top talent remained a priority in FY12. Over the course of the year, KPMG increased its global workforce by over 5%, to more than 152,000 partners and staff, the highest number of individuals ever employed across the network. More than 450 new partners were appointed over the year, bringing the number of partners across the network to more than 8,600, another record. KPMG recruited more than 18,000 graduates last year and plans to recruit a further 60,000 graduates over the next three years, marking the highest planned recruitment levels in KPMG's history. With its strong focus on training and advancement, KPMG has become one of the top tier employers in the business community.