The past year has proven once again the enduring strength of our business model
Kevin Ellis
Alliance Senior Partner, PwC UK & Middle East
UK Annual Report 2023

The past year has proven once again the enduring strength of our business model

Kevin Ellis, Alliance Senior Partner, PwC UK & Middle East
Kevin Ellis, Alliance Senior Partner, PwC UK & Middle East

Building on a strong foundation

The past year has proven once again the enduring strength of our business model. We’ve held our nerve while facing difficult economic circumstances, government upheaval, and societal pressures, by continuing to focus on our clients, invest in our people, and support our communities.

Over the last few years, we’ve become used to disruption. The past twelve months have seen three Prime Ministers (and four Chancellors), the financial markets suffering from periods of chaos, ongoing energy-led price rises following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as sterling hitting its lowest level against the dollar since 1985 and inflation reaching a 41 year high. By any measure, a tumultuous year.

Despite all this, the firm has seen strong growth of 16%, driving up revenue to £5.8bn. This is a direct result of our long-term focus on quality, on training and on adopting new technologies. Influenced by our human-led, tech-powered strategy, The New Equation.

Market Leading

We’ve continued to employ over 25,000 people across the UK, equipping them with the skills to solve our clients’ most pressing problems, while building an even more inclusive culture. We’ve retained, and won, new work, and grown our key sectors - including those at the centre of the UK’s plans for sustainable economic growth.

Demand for our services has also grown right across our Middle East business.

This has made it possible to invest in our business and in our people. In particular, our focus on Generative AI - with deals to bring platforms such as Open AI-based Harvey into the firm - has been market leading.

We’ve also acquired the HR software firm PeopleForce. We continued to target sectors such as Pharma and Life Sciences through our Growth Accelerator programme and successfully launched new ESG services.

our Key
FY22: £5,002m
Total UK Tax
£989m taxes collected
£681m taxes borne
FY22: £1,506m. £891m taxes collected, £615m taxes borne
UK client satisfaction scores
FY22: 9.11/10
In FY23, the scoring moved to a five point scale in line with our new Global KPI.
UK People
engagement score¹
FY22: 80%
UK distributable profit
per partner*
FY22: £920,000
*Excludes non-recurring items
¹ Results are derived from the firm wide staff YouMatter survey questions: “I feel like I belong at PwC”; “My personal values align with the values demonstrated at PwC”; “I enjoy working at PwC”; “I am proud to work at PwC”; “I would recommend PwC as a great place to work”. Percentage of PwC staff who ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’. Some of these differ to the YouMatter questions of previous years.

Our attractiveness to clients, as well as recruits, comes from the breadth and depth of the capabilities we offer. As a brand we have been consistent and vocal about the benefits we see of being a multi-disciplinary firm, which has continued to deliver a wide range of services to our clients and enhance the professional experience of our people.

Record levels of applications and our top three ranking in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers list are testament to our continued attractiveness to school leavers and graduates. They see opportunity and also what we stand for through our purpose - to build trust in society and solve important problems - which is increasingly evident through things such as our sustainability work. We’ve been recognised for our work to advance social mobility and achieved our highest total community contribution to date while giving our people the opportunity to work with 20,000 different clients, across territories and borders, and maintaining our support for hybrid working and empowered flexibility.

Innovating to make the UK a world-leader in health industries

From the Golden Triangle of Oxford-Cambridge-London to Scotland, we‘re working with clients and partners, including the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, Ramsay Healthcare, and GSK, to solve industry problems.

The Grand Challenge of ‘undruggable’ diseases

Healthcare, pharmaceuticals and biotech are central to the Government’s growth plans as it aims to establish the UK as a science superpower.

Despite world-renowned research & development, universities and healthcare services, the UK is not without challenges, including the increasing demand for healthcare post-Covid, alongside a decline in productivity, supply chain issues, skills shortages and inflation.

One of our collaborations to solve the important problems facing healthcare industries and patient populations is with the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre on the outskirts of Glasgow, led by the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), alongside founding partners University of Strathclyde, GSK and AstraZeneca.

Led by our Consulting team in Scotland, it aims to address challenges and maximise technology opportunities within the pharmaceutical supply chain, while harnessing regional knowledge, skills and talent. This is being achieved through its flagship Grand Challenge projects, which are advancing emergent and disruptive technologies.

As part of our partnership, we delivered thought leadership exploring the barriers in the market and supply chain of oligonucleotides. Oligonucleotide therapeutics are a class of drugs which have initially been used to target rare diseases. However, they have the potential to help millions of people with common diseases that have previously been recognised as ‘undruggable’, including some cancers, metabolic disorders, and respiratory diseases.

We used our understanding of supply chain challenges and barriers to scaling-up supply to explore how the industry can keep pace with demand and have the impact the sector is capable of.

Our analysis highlights important considerations for change, including sustainable manufacturing procedures, regulatory infrastructure, and education to meet current and future workforce demands.

The Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre continues to explore how collaboration can overcome the challenges facing the oligonucleotide supply chain.

Insightful improvements for patients

Covid shone the spotlight on the need for public and private sector pharmaceuticals, life sciences and healthcare organisations to drive change, and make life easier for one key group of people… patients.

Ramsay Health Care UK, a leading private provider, called on our expertise to improve performance and morale at its National Enquiry Centre (NEC).

Significant increases in patient calls and website enquiries had resulted in above-average call abandonment rates, longer wait times, and a rise in patient website enquiries. This created a backlog the NEC team was unable to tackle and a poor experience for potential patients and staff.

PwC’s Advisory and Managed Services specialists quickly became part of Ramsay’s NEC team. It supported patients through call management, working together to monitor existing processes as well as delivering a high-quality patient experience and insightful reporting, over a seven-month period.

With over 28,000 additional calls handled and call answering rates increased to approximately 90% at peak performance across the NEC, our team delivered value, alongside important insights allowing Ramsay to implement sustainable new processes to its continued benefit.

additional inbound calls answered additional outpatient appointments booked 28,000 5,500 estimated additional diagnostic procedures carried out 2,800
“PwC didn’t just come in and design something on a sheet of paper… they took a lot of time and care to make sure that everything we were deciding to do, every impact to the organisation’s structure, was going to be something that stood the test of time.”
Employee experience, fit for the future

While splitting its organisation into two separate companies, global pharmaceutical giant GSK needed to transform its people function as part of its Future Ready programme.

With the help of a global PwC team of more than 50 specialists – led by the UK firm - GSK’s employee experience was reimagined for over 100,000 people across 90+ countries.

Through an accelerated two-year programme, we collaborated with GSK to transform the entire HR model and rebuild over 80 processes. This was achieved by identifying key moments of interaction and important milestones in the employee journey - with employee experience and business resilience as key priorities.

The result? A sustainable, future-proof HR function delivering against the business’ talent, leadership and culture strategies and adding value for its people. Since inception, the new HR model has processed over 100,000 transactions for GSK’s people, from more efficient onboarding to enhanced annual pay cycles.

How we come together across the public and private sectors will be vital to achieving the health outcomes society needs - and our teams are proud of the role they’re playing in collaboration and innovation to reach these goals.

The evolving market

Back in January, our annual CEO Survey revealed a clear message from UK business leaders about the need to transform their organisations in the face of numerous increasingly complex challenges. Nearly a quarter told us their current business model will not survive the next decade.

This imperative to drive long-term transformation is caused by forces ranging from changing consumer and regulatory demands, to climatic, digital, economic and geopolitical disruption. But it also comes at a time when business leaders are dealing with incredible short-term challenges, such as scarcity of talent and the effects of high interest rates, inflation and energy prices.

We’ve created more time to focus on listening and understanding the real depth of our clients’ challenges
Marco Amitrano
Managing Partner & Head of Clients and Markets
We’ve created more time to focus on listening and understanding the real depth of our clients’ challenges
Marco Amitrano
Managing Partner & Head of Clients and Markets
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Supporting our clients

Our 20,000 clients include many of the most significant public, private and third sector organisations, with a reach that impacts millions of customers, employees and broader stakeholders. From changing strategy, to evolving product portfolios, operating models and supply chains, we’ve created more time to focus on listening and understanding the real depth of our clients’ challenges.

This has led to the establishment of new initiatives, such as our Chief Transformation Officer and Sustainability Leaders networks, bringing together clients who are spearheading critical changes within their organisations to share best practice and practical insights.

The way we support our clients is set out in our global strategy, The New Equation. Our human-led, tech-powered approach sits at the heart of the capabilities we’re developing to address client needs for Transformation, as well as in areas such as Deals, ESG and Risk and Resilience. It describes how we combine our in-depth business and industry expertise with our technology capabilities - and those of our technology alliance partners - to help clients manage urgent short-term threats, while implementing essential longer-term transformation that will help build trust and deliver sustained outcomes.

Investing in key areas

Our multidisciplinary approach, combined with a deep understanding of how we must meet changing client needs, has seen us reap the rewards of investments in key areas over time. Investment in Execution Managed Services, for example, has enabled us to support our clients’ critical operational processes, while advancing our capabilities in cyber security has enabled our teams to protect organisations’ critical data and information infrastructures in the face of increasingly aggressive and sophisticated threats.

And this year we’ve again added to our portfolio. Our global investment in Artificial Intelligence - such as the GenAI platform Harvey - stands out as a milestone. We’re focussed on adopting the right tools at the right pace, in responsible ways. We believe it’s the blending of our subject matter expertise with technology which defines the uniqueness of our client offerings.

We’ve applied this approach at Hillingdon Council’s digital transformation. Working with Amazon Web Services we’ve jointly delivered an AI-based voice channel and web chat facility to provide services to Hillingdon’s citizens.

We now have over 30 technology alliance partners, from the biggest established names to bespoke and industry-specific solutions. Importantly, we understand how to embed technology seamlessly to get results faster. For example, we’ve partnered with specialist providers, including Salesforce and Sage where we can apply human qualities such as critical thinking, judgement and ethics to ensure their technologies are used in the most effective way.

The strength of our multidisciplinary approach, combined with powerful technologies, has underpinned our strong performance this year. But ultimately our growth is the result of the strength of the relationships we build and nurture with our clients through our sustained focus on quality.

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