Andersen accounts for another record year

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ARTHUR Andersen, the world's largest professional services firm, yesterday announced record worldwide income of dollars 6.7bn ( pounds 4.2bn) for the year to the end of August.

The 12 per cent rise on last year's revenue gave the firm, which at the beginning of this month merged its UK operation with Binder Hamlyn, its 81st consecutive year of growth. The total number of employees, spread across more than 70 countries, also grew by nearly 5,000 to 70,205, while 30 new partners were created to take the total to 2,517.

In the past five years, total income has more than doubled from dollars 3.3bn - despite difficult economic conditions in the main markets of the United States, Europe and Japan.

Last week, Price Waterhouse, another big six firm, announced a 2.3 per cent increase in income to dollars 3.98bn for the year to the end of June. India, Asia-Pacific and South and Central America reported the strongest growth and helped the PW worldwide firm nearly to double revenues in the past five years. Detailed figures for the UK and the rest of Europe are due to be released today.

Lawrence Weinbach, Andersen's managing partner, attributed the growth in part to continued expansion of such initiatives as 'business process management' and 'client service technology' in both the core Arthur Andersen accountancy firm and the Andersen Consulting arm, and to operating as a true global organisation with systems enabling employees to share knowledge while providing individual solutions to particular clients.