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October 18, 2012

A challenging year ends with 8.8% revenue slump at RSM Tenon

Following a year of restructuring and several executive changes, RSM Tenon has reported an 8.8% drop in revenues to £208.2m in the year to 30 June 2012.

The UK firm’s underlying operating losses were £8.9m, despite it cutting headcount by 11% over the year in order to bring costs down.

The first sign of trouble at RSM Tenon, the only firm to be listed on the London Stock Exchange, came with a profit warning in February along with a restating of accounts for the previous fiscal year.

Chairman Tim Ingram said in a statement: "To say that the year ended 30 June 2012 was a disappointment would be an understatement; this year has been totally unsatisfactory for shareholders and other stakeholders."It was unacceptable to have allowed a situation where costs had grown to be in excess of revenues, and bank indebtedness had become a multiple of the company’s market capitalisation. Although the external economic environment has not been helpful, the main reason for this state of affairs is that the business had in the past simply not been managed in the way it should have been," Ingram continued.

Since February, RSM Tenon has changed most of its senior executive team, most prominently through the appointment of new chief executive Chris Merry.Merry said RSM Tenon was currently in a stable financial position, with bank facilities in place for the next two years.

"Publication of results is the end of a chapter: we are now looking forward with confidence," Merry said.

Looking ahead, the firm said that in the shorter term, costs have been very significantly reduced by recent staff cuts.

"We ended the year with 11% fewer employees than at the start of the year. In addition, a very high priority has been given to effective cost management. Over the longer term, actions are being taken to improve revenue and therefore lead to efficient profitability growth," Ingram said.

RSM Tenon has already made some changes in the current fiscal including the selling off of its IVA business to Grant Thornton and its Stoke office to a firm local to the area.Nevertheless, the firm has continued to struggle with efficiency issues following the acquisition of RSM Bentley Jennison in 2009 and certain assets of Vantis in 2010.

The actions of RSM Tenon and its auditor PwC UK are currently being investigated by the Accountancy and Actuarial Discipline Board.

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