BDO fees fall after closure

Link: BDO leaves Numerica scrambling for a new buyer

The sale of a number of small offices has seen fee income fall by 6.7% to £181m, while profitability was up 5.7%.

The results come just a week after BDO dropped out of the race to acquire the ailing consolidator Numerica.

The mixed bag of figures also indicate a year of reorganisation for BDO in which it has transformed into a national partnership, and scaled back peripheral offices to concentrate its efforts in the UK’s main business centres. The changes also included the opening of a new branch in Leeds.

Managing partner Jeremy Newman said: ‘While other mid-tier firms are chasing size, our strategy has been to focus on quality of service.

‘This year’s figures show the immediate effect of office losses. However, solid financial performance in the last quarter suggests that our strategy is paying dividends and our underlying profitability allows us to invest short-term profit in exchange for long-term strength and expertise,’ he added.

The profitability figures are BDO’s saving grace, as fee income has been falling steadily since 2001 when it peaked at £201m. This had grown from the 1999 figure of £137m.

Assurance still makes up more than half of BDO’s business at 57% of turnover, tax just over a fifth at 22%, business recovery 11% and corporate finance 10%.

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