PwC reports double digit growth for second consecutive year - Northern Ireland UK's fastest-growing region

| Sep 12, 2016

  • Revenue up 11% to £3.4bn
  • Growth in all business areas, with particular client demand for cyber security, data analytics and technology services
  • Northern Ireland now the fastest-growing region in the UK
  • Building on our gender pay gap transparency – we publish social mobility data, gender and ethnicity targets for the first time

In the 12 months to 20 June 2016, PwC reported a second consecutive year of double digit revenue growth as the firm continues to invest heavily in its people, technology and new client services.

Revenues grew to a record £3.44bn for the year, up 11% from last year’s £3.08bn. All of PwC’s core businesses - assurance, tax, deals and consulting - delivered good growth, with assurance and consulting recording double digit increases, the latter enhanced by the successful integration of Strategy&.

There was increased demand in particular for cyber security, data analytics and technology services. Targeted investment in regional UK practices continued to deliver good growth, while revenues from privately owned businesses grew significantly.

Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner, said:

“Our second year of consecutive double-digit growth is the result of the long-term investment we’ve continued to make in our people and new technology.

“We’ve had a strong year across all of our business areas. We’re seeing particularly high demand for our technology services, largely as a result of investment in targeted acquisitions. And we have prioritised building market-leading teams to help our clients capitalise on market disrupters such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and cloud technology.”

Commenting on the impact of the EU referendum, Kevin Ellis added:

“While the impact of leaving the EU is still being worked through, we believe we’ll be in the strongest position by continuing to invest in new technology and leading the way in student recruitment – just as we did during the 2008 financial crisis.

“UK business has a good track record of innovating in the face of change and it’s important that businesses continue to invest to ensure that the UK is in the best possible position when negotiating our exit from the EU and entering into other trade agreements.

“We are working with our clients to navigate the changing landscape and we’re seeing increased appetite for strategic advice and support around immigration, trade negotiations and financial services.”

PwC in Northern Ireland

PwC’s Northern Ireland region is currently the fastest-growing region in the UK, with close to 1,400 people. Over 550 students and experienced professionals were recruited during the year, with a further 252 student positions already open for 2016/17.

During the year, PwC in Northern Ireland was named as Ulster University Business Placement Employer of the Year and was awarded the Innovation in Partnership Higher Apprenticeship Award.

Northern Ireland is PwC’s global centre of excellence for a number of specialisms including including PwC Augment and Digital & Emerging Technology, where product areas like blockchain, managed detection & response and the Google Lab - one of only three Google Labs in existence - deliver worldwide client solutions and support. And while PwC in Belfast is now one of the region’s leading exporters, it remains the biggest professional advisory firm in the region, supporting private sector clients in Northern Ireland.

Regional chairman Paul Terrington said:

“PwC in Northern Ireland remains the leading advisor to family-owned and owner-managed businesses across Northern Ireland and our advisory, tax and deals services have seen steady demand. In parallel, we have enjoyed significant growth in technology, digital and emerging technologies and PwC in Belfast now a leading global centre for disruptive technologies, particularly in financial services.

“Consequently, we have had a strong year across all our activities, in both domestic and export markets and we expect this growth to continue, in terms of both client activity and headcount. We recruited close to 600 people in the past year and expect to see further growth in 2016/17.”

Investing in People

The firm has made significant investment in its people this year. PwC now employs over 21,000 people across its 64 offices in the UK, Channel Islands and Middle East and this year promoted a record 61 equity partners, taking the total number of equity partners to 926. Distributable profit per partner was down 5% to £706,000 due to our strategy of continuing to invest in people and technology, which included key acquisitions, record partner promotions and increases in staff remuneration.

Following PwC’s leading stance in publishing its gender pay gap, the firm is publishing social mobility data for its graduate intake, as well as gender and ethnicity targets and progress for all job roles for the first time this year. The firm is also publishing its gender pay gap for the third year in a row, all as part of its second fully digital annual report.

Kevin Ellis continued:

“We want to be the employer where people can reach their full potential, regardless of background, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. We’ve made great progress but recognise that to create a truly diverse organisation we need to set ourselves stretching targets and hold ourselves accountable to drive real change.

“Diversity makes solid business sense with different views, perspectives and experience leading to better problem solving and ultimately better performance.

“Anyone can easily access our social mobility data and see the progress we’re making against our gender and ethnicity targets via our digital annual report. We believe that greater transparency drives action and shows that our firm is open to all.”

2016 financial highlights:

  • All of the firm’s business divisions delivered good growth:

Business area

Revenue

Revenue growth since 2015

Assurance

£1,241m

11%

Tax

£822m

8%

Deals

£654m

4%

Consulting

£720m

26%

  • The firm’s profits increased to £829m while average distributable profit per partner before tax was £706,000, down 5% from £740,000 last year as the overall number of equity partners increased to 926, from 885 last year.
  • Average distributable profit per partner was a 12.8 multiple of average employee pay and bonus, compared to 13.6 in 2015.
  • UK regional revenues grew by 10.6%.
  • The firm’s total tax contribution – which comprises taxes borne and taxes collected – was more than £1.12bn, up from £1.08bn last year.

2016 non-financial highlights:

  • PwC has published its gender pay gap for the third year in a row, after becoming the first professional services firm to publicly publish its data in 2014. PwC’s gender pay gap for 2016 is 15.2%; 2.6% when adjusted by grade.
  • The firm has published its gender and ethnicity targets for the first time for all levels of the business.
  • Last year PwC became the first major employer to drop UCAS points as graduate recruitment entry criteria, as a way to widen access to the firm. This has led to increased diversity amongst student applicants and recruits. In the firm’s latest student intake, 38% were first generation graduates, 73% attended state school, 14% came from homes eligible for income support and 9% were eligible for school meals.
  • More than 96,000 people applied for a job with PwC this year. The firm now employs more than 21,000 people and 926 partners across 64 offices in the UK, Channel Islands, and Middle East. This includes recruiting more than 1,600 graduates and school leavers, and more than 2,000 experienced professionals in the year.
  • The firm’s employees volunteered more than 71,000 hours during the working day.
  • For the second year, PwC has published a purely digital annual report. You can find more information and explore the report here.

Ends.

Contact details

Email: John Compton

Tel: +44 (0)28 9041 5663

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