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Unilever swaps PwC for KPMG as auditor

FTSE100 COMPANY Unilever has announced that PwC is due to step down as its auditor with KPMG picking it up.

EY said it did not pitch for the audit work because it is already a strategic supplier to Unilever. A statement from the firm said: “EY has been a strategic supplier to Unilever for many years and the extent and nature of our services meant we were unable to bid (in the audit tender).”

In a stock market statement Unilever said that after the audit of accounts for the year ending 31 December, KPMG will become the statutory auditor, subject to shareholder approval.

The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company said it would be handing the £14m-a-year contract to KPMG, subject to shareholder approval at next year’s AGM.

Unilever’s Audit Committee chairman Byron Grote said: “We thank PricewaterhouseCoopers for their contribution as Unilever’s auditors and we look forward to working with KPMG going forward.”

According to The Telegraph PwC has been auditor for 27 years, although the last time the company put the audit out to tender was 2002. In the last year PwC has earned an estimated £3m in non-audit work for Unilever.

Earlier this year the Competition Commission said large listed companies must tender their auditor every ten years amid concerns of a lack of competition in the market, which is dominated by the Big Four firms.   

This article has been amended.

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