PracticeAccounting FirmsTop 50: Numerica bucks trend with growth

Top 50: Numerica bucks trend with growth

Despite the harsh economic climate that has seen an overall drop in fee income among the UK's leading accountancy businesses, listed firm Numerica has maintained its growth and announced that it is planning more acquisitions over the next year.

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The mid-tier firm’s results,which were revealed yesterday, show profits before goodwill and tax of £3.2m,in line with market expectations. Fee income rose 14% to £45.2m, although if annualised this figure would increase to £48m. The steady growth meant Numerica climbed one place in the Accountancy Age Top 50,while other listed accountancy firms, Tenon and Vantis, slipped.

Numerica’s chief executive Tony Sarin said the growth was achieved both organically and through acquisitions. The firm bought three competitors this year, including the non-audit business of Burnett Swayne and Chantrey Vellacott DFK’s Thames Valley business recovery firm.

But he added its success was also due to branding. ‘Part of our strategy is building a brand,’ he told Accountancy Age.

‘Our name is becoming known and we’ve got a good quality business so we are managing to get our foot through the door. We are picking up business from the Big Four and other competitors.’

The firm remains bullish about its future, saying it will continue to grow both organically and by acquisition.

‘The markets are tough and the economy is still pretty flat, but we remain confident,’ said Sarin. ‘We are in talks with several firms and will continue to acquire businesses.’

Tenon, UK’s first listed accountancy consolidator, has seen its share price take a hammering in recent months and has lost its chairman, chief executive and finance director.

The firm, which reported fee income of £92m for the year to December 2002, slips a place in this year’s Top 50, though it saw good growth in revenues from audit and accounting work.

Vantis, the other listed accountancy player in the Top 50, reported fee income of £19m for the year to April 2003.

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