PwC Australia has today announced its full year results to 30 June 2017, delivering 10.4 per cent revenue growth to $2.12bn underpinned by a strong profit line.
PwC Australia CEO Luke Sayers said that organic growth delivered “99 percent” of the outcome.
“We have been very focussed on achieving growth through our existing portfolio and by hiring the very best talent in the market, and I’m pleased to say that approximately 99 percent of our growth is organic,” Mr Sayers said.
“We are always scanning the market for acquisition opportunities that make commercial sense and will add value to our clients, but we are not interested in buying expensive growth when we have such strength and capacity to grow in our existing business.”
“One of the major shifts for our firm over the past few years has been how many clients are now working with us on a multi-disciplinary basis, sourcing services and expertise from right across our business. This reflects both the complexity that clients are now dealing with as well as our focus on having much broader and deeper conversations with clients about the challenges and opportunities they are facing.”
Mr Sayers said the firm’s performance was a result of all three of the firm’s business lines - Assurance, Consulting, and Financial Advisory (incorporating Deals, Tax, Private Clients, Infrastructure & Urban Renewal, and Legal) achieving strong growth throughout 2017.
“Whilst we are continuing to establish new service offerings which are delivering new sources of growth, the firm’s Assurance practice also had a very strong year, delivering high single digit revenue growth.
“Our risk assurance business partnered with clients to provide confidence across major transformation projects, technology risks and regulatory change and complexity. We also won a number of traditional audits during the year including Australian Unity, Ausgrid and Food Retail Group,” Mr Sayers said.
“From an industry perspective, demand from the financial services, health, technology, media and entertainment, and Government sectors continues to be very strong and we are seeing the rising influence of digital with clients looking to data and analytics to help them engage their customers in new ways.
“On the Consulting front, Strategy& had its strongest year since being acquired by PwC back in 2014, with our strategy through execution offering being very well received by clients. Clients no longer want a team to come in, do a review and then leave them with a shiny new strategy. They want someone to do all of that and then get into the trenches with them, help them execute and achieve real outcomes.”
“As clients deal with rapidly changing market forces and disruption, we have been fortunate to work with clients on large scale transformation projects incorporating a range of competencies including digital, cyber, data, analytics, risk and regulation and technology based business process re-engineering.”
To support the firm’s growth PwC added 91 Partners throughout the year, taking total Partner numbers to 620.
“We have been fortunate to have a number of outstanding individuals choose to join our firm in the past 12 months to take our business in new directions and bring the very best insights and experience to our clients. People like Russel Howcroft, Julie McKay, Stephen Scheeler, Vishy Narayanan, Karen Evan Cullens and Mike Smith bring a new perspective and depth of experience that is hugely valuable for our clients,” Mr Sayers said.
PwC acquired Strategic Investments Group in November, a firm which helps clients to create, enhance and capture value from infrastructure projects, headed up by Partner John Marinopoulos.
PwC also established a new specialist Food and Agribusiness Advisory team led by three new partners, Greg Quinn, Ben Craw and Tim Lee, who are recognised leaders across the Australian and New Zealand agriculture sector. Their focus is on helping Australian farmers, investors and agribusiness clients realise the potential of their businesses and investments.
“Our legal business had another outstanding year, growing its revenue by 68 percent and finishing the year with 23 Partners and 105 lawyers. PwC’s legal team has core capabilities across corporate and commercial, employment and workplace relations, projects and infrastructure, and regulatory areas and the team works closely with PwC’s Deals, Infrastructure, Tax and Consulting teams.
“We are increasingly working with clients on a multi-disciplinary basis, bringing tax, legal, due diligence and risk and governance services to the table. Being able to work with one rather than many service providers on large, complex transactions makes sense for clients, delivering them efficiencies and simplicity.
“One of the highlights for our Deals practice during the year was our role in the Bungala Solar project transaction announced by Reach Solar energy in April 2017.
“Over a 12 month period, PwC delivered a fully integrated advisory service that utilised more than 60 staff across different professional capabilities including commercial and financial advisory, legal, tax, debt capital advisory, due diligence and financial model audit services. PwC did not bill any work on hourly rates with payment to PwC wholly contingent on the project’s commercial and financial success.
“This is a new way of doing business with our clients, and importantly demonstrates full alignment of PwC’s success with the success of our clients.
“Our infrastructure and urban renewal practice achieved 15 percent growth, working on a number of projects and initiatives that are central to the sustainability of our cities, including work in transport and health.
“We also launched our new CMO Advisory practice, lead by Russel Howcroft, which is advising clients across six critical business areas: brand strategy, marketing strategy, market insights, marketing performance analytics, marketing structure and operations and creative solutions.
“CMO Advisory is working with PwC’s digital team, The Difference and The Experience Centre to bring a very different perspective to marketing strategy and the response from the market to this new offer has been very positive.
“Whilst we are very proud of our financial results, our people results are even more important because people are our business. We want to inspire and support our people to be the very best they can be, both for our clients and in the work so many of our people do in the broader community,” Mr Sayers said.
“More than 740 PwC people now hold Board or advisory positions, bringing their skills and expertise to industries and causes our people are passionate about.
“We were also very proud to achieve an 84% people engagement score, up 2% on the previous year.
“We also achieved our 40-40-20 gender diversity target for new partner admits with women now representing 24% of the partnership.
“Our firm’s purpose; to build trust in society and solve important problems, drives the way we think about the work we do and the impact we want to have and I could not be prouder of the difference our people have made to both clients and in society in the past 12 months.”
Commenting on the year ahead, Mr Sayers said the focus would be on executing the firm’s new four year strategy which was launched in September 2016.
“Our new strategy has a number of key themes at its heart; working with clients on solving their biggest and most important problems, increasing the firm’s digital IQ, igniting the spirit of our people to be the very best they can be and contributing to important societal debates such as the future of our cities, the potential of our agribusiness and food sectors and mental health.”
“Our business is growing strongly and profitably, we have the very best people who are engaged and delivering outstanding results for our clients every day, and we have a new four year strategy to prosecute. I’m feeling very optimistic about the year ahead.”
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