PwC to create over 1,500 jobs after profits surge

Earlier this year PwC took the step of abandoning the use of the Ucas points used by universities to assess new applicants for the vast majority of its roles

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The Independent Online

Accountancy firm PwC is set to add more than 1,500 jobs over the coming year as it reports a 10 per cent rise in revenue at its UK unit.

The firm reports today that UK revenue rose to £3.1bn for the year ending 30 June. It made £818m in profits from that, a rise of 6 per cent, with each of its 885 partners averaging £740,000 each, up from £722,000 the previous year.

PwC will release its worldwide results next month.

The firm said profit growth lagged that of revenue as it “continued to invest heavily in its people, training and skills, infrastructure and technology”. This included making 1,645 net new hires out of a total of 4,100 new people taken on. That is expected to continue at a similar rate over the coming year.

Earlier this year PwC – one of Britain’s largest graduate employers – took the step of abandoning the use of the Ucas points used by universities to assess new applicants for the vast majority of its roles. The move is part of an attempt  to recruit “as broad a range” of talented candidates at possible. It “could drive radical changes in the social mobility and diversity of the professional services’ industry”, the group said in May.

PwC said each of its four divisions delivered what it described as “good growth”, with assurance bringing in  £1.1bn of revenues, up 9 per cent, the sometimes controversial tax arm enjoying a 7 per cent increase to £763m, while deals increased revenue 8 per cent to £628m. However, the consulting arm set the pace with a 16 per cent rise to £571m.

The tax operation was accused by MPs on the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee of promoting “tax avoidance on an industrial scale” on behalf of corporate clients, a claim the firm hotly denied during an often ill-tempered hearing.

Ian Powell, chairman and senior partner, stressed the firm’s “contribution” to the UK. He said: “We measure our broader impact to the economy, tax revenues, society and the environment, and estimate that we made an overall contribution to the UK of £4.22bn this year, including £1,073m in taxes paid to and collected on behalf of the UK Exchequer.” The firm put the “effective tax rate” per partner at 48 per cent.

Mr Powell said he was optimistic about the outlook for the UK. “Confidence has been improving and, while uncertainties remain, the economy is performing well. Britain is one of the fastest-growing major western economies and is well-placed to achieve a number of years of respectable growth,” he said.

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