TOP 50: Industry priced at £7.4bn

This year’s Accountancy Age Top 50 gives the first indication of how the combined forces of Deloitte & Touche and Andersen will compare to other top firms.

Assuming the transfer of Andersen’s business to Deloitte is approved, the new entity would assume second place in our league table with the combined fire power of 650 partners.

Deloitte’s 400 are likely to be joined by 250 Andersen partners following redundancies at the soon to be defunct firm. Its income would be £1.5bn and its fees per partner would be £2.3m – more than any of its Big Five rivals.

KPMG would assume third place in the running with a fee income of £1.3bn. The firm reported growth in fee income of 18% with strong surges in insolvency (33%) and consultancy (27%) in particular. The firm was just outstripped by Deloitte’s 19.3% growth, however.

PricewaterhouseCoopers still enjoys a comfortable margin in pole position with £2.2bn, a lead of over £700m. But its global growth rate (the firm does not provide UK-only figures) is well below the top firm average of 14% at 7.6%. There is a slimmer margin between the combined incomes of Deloitte plus Andersen and KPMG – at some £130m.

Ernst & Young at £722.2m reported a growth rate of 15% and has a margin of £500m ahead of nearest contender Grant Thornton.

Together the Top 50 firms bring in £7.4bn in fees, an increase of 10% on last year.

Accountancy integrator Numerica, meanwhile this week shrugged off a slow start to its new financial year as it released its first preliminary results since its October AIM listing.

Chief executive Tony Sarin and finance director Peter Jenkins, revealed the group, which leapt to 16 in the Top 50, made a profit of £1.2m before exceptional item on a turnover of £15.16m. The group, which signed Levy Gee as its cornerstone firm last year, released figures for the eight months to 31 March – although it has only traded as a single entity since floating five months ago. Results were in line with analyst forecasts.

Sarin revealed the year had begun slowly, but added: ‘Everyone at Numerica can see the potential of what we can achieve over the next few years.’ Basic earnings per share before goodwill amortisation was at 2.90p, while the company has not proposed a dividend for the period.

To view the Top 50 table click here.

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