PwC expects ‘reasonable’ growth

PWC PREDICTS “reasonable growth” in its revenues this year, as well as modest growth in profits.

The news came from chairman and senior partner Iain Powell (pictured) during a wide ranging discussion between PwC’s executive team and members of the press, which revealed cautious optimism in the firm’s leadership as a result of increased confidence in the firm’s client base. The firm has also been buoyed up by recently winning the audit of Aviva.

Last year, PwC booked growth of 4% but profits fell.

Powell said the firm was in “expansionist” mode, though its planning had not ruled out the possibility of further economic trouble. The firm is seeing a significant porportion of its work come from clients with overseas operations. Brazil and India are proving significant outlets for many manufacturers.

The firm also revealed that it has just finished talks with the Office of Fair Trading over its investigation of the audit market. The firm anticipates the issue being passed to the Competition Commission and that regulators are considering what “remedies” may be available.

Richard Sexton, PwC’s newly appointed head of reputation and policy, restated the firm’s position that it believes competition for audit is “fierce”, though he conceded that choice of auditors is “limited”.

PwC is also battling to hold on to qualified staff. A resurgent City and financial services sector is currently recruiting hard and targeting firms such as PwC for their accountants. Chief financial officer Keith Tilson conceded that this year saw a pay rise for staff, in part to head off further losses, though members of the executive team would not give details.

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