One of the UK’s big four accountancy firms reported an 11% hike in profits today after it “held its nerve” and continued to take on staff despite challenging markets.
Professional services firm PwC recruited 2,300 people in the year to June, including more than 1,200 graduates and 100 school leavers.
Contract wins with Aviva, Dubai World and Yule Catto boosted its auditing and assurance division and helped the firm report “a strong performance” in the year despite a “very challenging” market.
Revenues in the UK rose 7% to £2.6bn (€3.2bn), while profits were up 10.8% to £727m (€898m).
Average profit per partner rose 4.6% to £798,000 (€985,000), although the amount they received after payments to retired partners and equity adjustments fell 4% to £679,000 (€838,000).
Ian Powell, PwC UK chairman and senior partner, said: “We took a decision at the start of the downturn to continue to hold our nerve and invest in our business.
“We have recruited significant numbers of new people, and invested heavily in our infrastructure to make sure we deliver a world class service to our clients.”
He added that there was “significant potential” to increase its share of work among private companies.
But the strong results will attract the attention of the Competition Commission, which is investigating the dominance of the big four accountancy firms over the UK market.