Slower growth rate for PwC.

The phenomenal growth of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ figures in its first year as a merged firm have slowed to 16%, well behind reported growth rates of other Big Five firms. PwC, which posted global revenues up almost 20% last year, noted a particular slip in profits growth in the lucrative Europe/Middle East/Africa region which provided the greatest revenues last year. However, net revenues grew by 18% to $7.48bn, making it the single largest profit-generating region for the firm. Once again, the South and Central America region provided the greatest growth opportunities with profits, although small in comparison to the rest of the world, up by 19%. But last year, the firm was able to report double-digit revenue increases across all service lines, but this year revenue generated by the core assurance and business advisory services line suffered, with growth only nine per cent on last year. Regulatory problems in the US resulting from a probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission into staff shareholdings in audit clients could make the issue of audit revenue even more difficult next year if clients decide to go elsewhere. But the firm can rely more heavily on revenues generated by business process outsourcing, which noted a 82% lift on last year and presents growth opportunity as more international companies outsource some of their core operations. Chief executive officer James Schiro said the firm would be concentrating on developing its e-business capabilities.

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